On one hand, under competition law, information exchange behaviour rules out the possibility for firms of making independent decisions and artificially increases market transparency among producers. But reducing market uncertainty and competitive risks improves welfare in the case of the presence of asymmetric information. Considering the behaviour of information exchange from a lawand economics perspective, the contrast between pro and anti-competitive effects will be analysed. First of all,we will reviewthe economic literature contributions on the exchange of information behaviour. These contributions, on one hand, consider the role of this behaviour as a remedy to the asymmetric information issue; on the other hand, they highlight its role as a facilitating practice. In the following paragraphs, we will analyse the EC Commission position, particularly through some decisions of the Commission and the Court of Justice. Moreover, the general reasons for the EC competition exemption for the insurance market will be considered in connection with the Italian Antitrust intervention. In the last part of the paper, we will present a broad description of the Italian automobile insurance market. This is important to understand howinformation exchange is considered as a behaviour that can provide companies operating in a market with a source of anticompetitive information about the future decisions of other companies operating in the same market. Finally, some concluding remarks will be made on the general problem of the link between Antitrust Authority decisions and the contributions of the economic literature, calling for an increased use of economic tools in the determination of anti-competitive effects of behaviours, such as information exchange.

Information exchange as collusive behaviour: evidence from an antitrust intervention in the italian insurance market

PORRINI, Donatella
2004

Abstract

On one hand, under competition law, information exchange behaviour rules out the possibility for firms of making independent decisions and artificially increases market transparency among producers. But reducing market uncertainty and competitive risks improves welfare in the case of the presence of asymmetric information. Considering the behaviour of information exchange from a lawand economics perspective, the contrast between pro and anti-competitive effects will be analysed. First of all,we will reviewthe economic literature contributions on the exchange of information behaviour. These contributions, on one hand, consider the role of this behaviour as a remedy to the asymmetric information issue; on the other hand, they highlight its role as a facilitating practice. In the following paragraphs, we will analyse the EC Commission position, particularly through some decisions of the Commission and the Court of Justice. Moreover, the general reasons for the EC competition exemption for the insurance market will be considered in connection with the Italian Antitrust intervention. In the last part of the paper, we will present a broad description of the Italian automobile insurance market. This is important to understand howinformation exchange is considered as a behaviour that can provide companies operating in a market with a source of anticompetitive information about the future decisions of other companies operating in the same market. Finally, some concluding remarks will be made on the general problem of the link between Antitrust Authority decisions and the contributions of the economic literature, calling for an increased use of economic tools in the determination of anti-competitive effects of behaviours, such as information exchange.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11587/102763
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