The national (and industry) workgroups in Define are obliged to follow local competition legislation.
Many of the companies that use Define are competitors in the market. Competition might occur both horizontally and vertically. For all work that is done in the organised Define workgroups, the applicable competition laws must be taken into account.
An act that may appear innocent in itself can be seen by the competition law authorities as part of a pattern of activities, which together constitute a breach of the competition regulations. Therefore, all participants must always remember that the purpose of the Define workgroups is to improve the opportunity for all stakeholders in the construction industry to compete more effectively, for the purpose of being able to offer added value to consumers or end users.
Since participation in the Define working groups often involves participants who collaborate, it is very important to ensure that competition legislation is followed.
In practical terms, this means:
- Participation must be voluntary.
- A company must not be penalized for not participating.
- There must be no discussions about prices, discounts or other conditions that affect the prices.
- Discussions around market shares, sales volume, costs, and other business secrets must not occur. Nor can such discussions take place before or after workgroup meetings.
- A business cannot provide information on whether the business intends to make an offer in a future procurement.
- Nor can a business provide information on which price levels will be given in an upcoming tender or information that may affect such price levels.
If a participant believes that the workgroup is about to start discussing an unacceptable topic, the discussion must be postponed until a lawyer with competence in competition law can give an opinion on whether the topic is compatible with the competition regulations.
Meetings must be held in accordance with a predetermined agenda, and documented in minutes that are drawn up immediately after the meeting.
Tests or data collection must be governed by agreements drawn up in consultation with a lawyer with competence in competition law.
The recommendations given by a Define workgroup are only recommendations. Each company is free to make independent and competitive decisions.