Antitrust Newsletter - Latest news on information exchanges through third parties. A Spanish case
In a decision of April 10th, 2019 (Resolución Expte. S/DC/0607/17 TABACOS), the Spanish Competition Authority imposed fines for a total of €57,7 million on three tobacco manufacturers (Philip Morris, Altadis and JT International) and on the distributor of cigarettes and tobacco products (Logista).
The Authority considered that the fact that Logista made available to undertakings an online platform allowing access to information on sales of their own cigarettes and those of other undertakings active on the same market constituted an exchange of sensitive information between competitors and, therefore, an infringement of Article 101 TFEU.
This is the first precedent in which an exchange of market data was considered anti-competitive even though the information was collected, collated and disseminated upon the independent initiative of a third party (Logista) without any contribution from the competitors to whom the data relate.
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