Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Trade Regulation Tidbits

This posting was written by Jeffrey May, Editor of CCH Trade Regulation Reporter.

News, updates, and observations:

 The European Commission (EC)announced on December 14 revised rules for the assessment of cooperation agreements between competitors, so-called horizontal cooperation agreements. The rules describe how competitors can cooperate without infringing EU competition rules, by providing a framework for the analysis of R&D, product, purchasing, commercialization, standardization, standard terms, and information exchange agreemenets. The EC announcement noted that a new chapter on information exchanges and a substantial revision of the chapter on standardization agreements were among the key features of the reforms. The revisions exempt from the competition rules certain R&D, specialization, and production agreements that are unlikely to raise competition concerns, according to the EC. The new Horizontal Guidelines and Regulations can be found here on the European Competition Commission website.

 The FTC has released its Performance and Accountability Report (PAR)for Fiscal Year (FY) 2010. The report demonstrates how the FTC has managed its resources, highlights major accomplishments in fulfilling the FTC's two core goals (protecting consumers and promoting competition), and outlines plans for addressing future challenges, Conducted in accordance with the Reportes Consolidation Act of 2000, the PAR combines the Performance Report and the agency's financial statements and audit opinion. It compares and evaluates each year's actual performance to the established measures and targets set forth in the FTC's 2009-2014 Strategic Plan and the annual Government Performance and Results Act Performance Plan. The FY 2010 independent financial audit resulted in the FTC's fourteenth consecutive unqualified opinion, the highest audit opinion. The 152-page PAR is available here on the FTC website.

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