Your House is likely to compete in its economic activities both with local small Houses and also the more important large Houses in the galaxy. In order to minimize potential conflict and increase your own growth potential, you may wish to cement official agreements with your competitors, to allow you to operate unimpeded in certain economic areas, in return for similar concessions elsewhere from your own House. You may offer new agreements and view those proposed to your House from others, from the 'Agreement Offers' link alongside the Agreements section of your embassy. There are three broad types of agreement: Anti-Competition Agreements, Concessions, and Financial Subsidies.
An Anti-Competition Agreement will restrict the activities of the House concerned within a certain sphere, and may apply to one particular planet, or to all planets. Such agreements are particular to one sphere of activity and will vary in nature depending on the sphere chosen. In the simplest case, such as for the Psionics or Construction spheres, the party concerned would be agreeing not to build any facilities of that particular sphere on the planet(s) concerned. For the other spheres, such as Mercantile or Geological, there are additional details that may be required, such as agreeing not to trade in a certain commodity, or agreeing not to build a particular type of facility on a planet. For these cases, a second screen will be displayed when you create an agreement offer, in which you can input the required details.
In this way, you can attempt to monopolize a certain area on one or more planets, through diplomatic means - although this will of course mean giving up certain rights elsewhere in return.
The second agreement type is the Concession. Only certain spheres qualify for a Concession, and these are outlined below together with the effects for the parties concerned:
Be aware that bonuses for multiple concessions are compounded rather than simply added - three construction concessions on the same planet reduce your costs by 27% (not 30% as you might expect) since each new 10% is applied to a progressively smaller amount. Still, negotiating multiple concessions is highly desirable if you have something to offer. However, you may only receive or grant each type of concession once for any one given House.
The third agreement type is the Financial Subsidy. Under this agreement you simply pay or receive a set amount per month (maximum $25000) to or from the other agreement party. This may be in return for another type of agreement, or it may be a one-way subsidy. You can only have one such agreement with any one other House - you can't have one agreement where you receive a subsidy, and a second agreement where you are paying a subsidy to the same House. Note that all outgoing subsidies are terminated if your House goes bankrupt!
You can also make an agreement where one party grants or receives nothing from the other - i.e. a one-way agreement. To do this, select the 'none' option for 'Agreement Type' when preparing your proposal.
All agreements between Houses last for one game year, after which time they are voided - although you are always free to renegotiate them. Should you attempt to carry out an action in violation of one of your agreements, you will be warned on the task confirmation screen that this is the case. Should you proceed regardless, the agreement will be broken and the other party will accrue Feud Score against you.
You also have the option to terminate an agreement before it expires, from the agreement details screen. Should you do this, the other party will gain Feud Score as above, unless they have checked the 'Allow Termination by other Party' box on their own details screen for this agreement. Using this method, it is possible to terminate an agreement through mutual consent. You will see on the task confirmation screen whether or not any feud score will be generated by terminating the agreement in this way.
Making an agreement with another House serves to reduce any accrued Feud Score between the Houses by one point. In this way, you can come to terms peacefully with a rival House through the creation of Agreements.
as seen in the Rulebook