The sharing of confidential and proprietary information among competitors and potential competitors (even during due diligence) can raise serious antitrust concerns. In particular, parties must avoid exchanging information and having discussions that could form the basis for or facilitate unlawful agreements, including price-fixing or market allocation agreements. As a result, health care providers in joint venture discussions should implement strategies and protocols for limiting the sharing of competitively sensitive information. In addition, the restrictions on sharing competitively sensitive information may continue even after the joint venture is formed. Having a ready list of topics that can and cannot be discussed between the parties to the joint venture is a straight-forward way to assist business leaders in avoiding unnecessary antitrust risks.
For additional information about the issues discussed above, or if you have any other antitrust concerns, please contact the Epstein Becker Green attorney who regularly handles your legal matters, or one of the authors of this Antitrust Byte.