Horizontal agreements are restrictive agreements between competitors that operate at the same level of the production/distribution chain. Horizontal agreements that have as their object or effect or likely effect of the prevention, distortion or restriction of competition directly or indirectly constitute per se violations. Article 4 of The Law on the Protection of Competition No. 4054 (the “Competition Law”) directly prohibits them.
The most significant and common types of anti-competitive horizontal agreements include price fixing, bid-rigging, market allocation/sharing and refusal to deal (group boycotts). Such horizontal agreements usually take the form of a cartel, which is explained in a separate sub-category.
Below is a chart that consolidates the most common types of per se Article 4 violations on a non-exhaustive basis:
Horizontal agreements for the exchange of competition-sensitive information may, depending on circumstances, qualify as anti-competitive horizontal agreements and fall under Article 4 of the Competition Law. Whether an agreement is legally binding is irrelevant in scope of the competition law assessment;
a non-binding understanding between direct competitors may, depending on circumstances, amount to a restrictive horizontal agreement.