Businesses and industry associations are navigating critical production, procurement, logistics, and workplace challenges in responding to COVID-19. Coordinated industry responses and business collaborations may be necessary to address these challenges, but it is critical that these efforts comply with the antitrust laws. In the last several days, antitrust authorities in the US and Europe have issued important guidance on interfirm collaborations that are intended to address the effects of the crisis, such as product scarcity, medical needs, research and development activities, joint purchasing, distribution, and logistics, and standard-setting activities. The US and EU antitrust authorities have made clear that they will continue to vigorously enforce the antitrust laws in the current environment, but also will take account of the challenges caused by COVID-19 when assessing the potential competitive effects of collaborations. They are also ready to provide expedited guidance on the legality of proposed joint activities in response to COVID-19.
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