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The vast majority of my work has always come from clients who set a price and invite you to accept it, eg. institutions. But I also see situations where clients ask the interpreter to give their rate and that before replying an interpreter might meet or speak to another interpreter who has had the same request. Is it in violation of competition law (or any other) for them to say to each other, 'I will be replying that my rate at nnn euro for that job'?

asked 04 Sep '15, 04:48

Andy's gravatar image


Hi Andy,

In market economies, agreements (or coordination) on prices are not allowed (French: ententes). This applies for products and services (like conference interpreting).

You cannot mention your offer for remuneration in meetings. If a client or competitor (another interpreter) finds out that there was a coordination, he could interpret it as a way to hinder or restrict competition.

For more information: Conference interpreting and antitrust law.

"While we cannot make any statement concerning applicable, charged or proposed to be charged fees (FTC Final Order, IV.), we can compile and distribute historical market information concerning fees actually charged (FTC Final Order, II) and exchange negotiating arguments."

It is up to the interpreter to decide what is appropriate for him or her, while taking into account ethical (vis-à-vis him/herself, vis-à-vis colleagues and vis-à-vis customers), professional, and financial considerations.

See also this question: How to disseminate professional ethics

As you state, we are allowed to publish rates in collective agreements with international organisations: AIIC Agreements

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answered 04 Sep '15, 06:33

Angela's gravatar image


Hello - If I understand correctly, the only exception would be if you were asked by the client to set up a team, in which case of course you would talk to your potential partners to ask what they would charge, or if they would accept your suggestion. Just in case someone is reading this and wonders if setting up a team has now become off-limits...

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answered 09 Sep '15, 11:13

JuliaP's gravatar image


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question asked: 04 Sep '15, 04:48

question was seen: 4,783 times

last updated: 09 Sep '15, 11:13 is a community-driven website open to anyone with questions and/or answers about interpreting, i.e. spoken language translation

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