The concept of “facilitating practices” refers to conduct by firms, typically in an oligopolistic market, which does not constitute an explicit, “hardcore” cartel agreement, and helps competitors to eliminate strategic uncertainty and coordinate their conduct more effectively. Information exchanges are the most common facilitating practice, but competition authorities have investigated a wide range of other practices as well. Most facilitating practices can/may have procompetitive or anticompetitive effects. Thus, facilitating practices can be condemned only after a careful examination of the circumstances in which they occur. Purely unilateral acts might facilitate coordination among competitors. In most countries, however, such conduct cannot be condemned unless it can be shown that firms have reached some type of agreement or coordinated action concerning their future conduct.
Facilitating Practices in Oligopolies