Anti-competitive coordinated behaviour can take the form of an agreement, a concerted practice, or a decision of an association of undertakings. The competition authorities do not need to, and do not in practice, characterize behavior as definitively one thing or another, and there are many decisions where the behaviour is described as an agreement and/or concerted practice.
An agreement means a concurrence of wills which can be formal (developed plan or written record) or informal (gentlemen’s’ agreement, a ‘”wink and a nod”, a “meeting of minds” to align strategies or to reduce uncertainty). A one-way disclosure, if not rejected by the recipient, may be sufficient to engage both parties in anti-competitive behavior, e.g. exchange of commercially sensitive non-public information.
A concerted practice is a form of cooperation where two or more undertakings knowingly coordinate their activities on the market without having reached any formal agreement to do so. A concerted practice can be inferred from circumstantial evidence.
A decision of an association of undertakings means coordination within associations, such as trade associations, collection societies and professional bodies, where the association becomes a forum for facilitating anti-competitive coordination amongst its members.