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Leniency programs for multimarket firms: The effect of Amnesty Plus on cartel formation

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  • Lefouili, Yassine
  • Roux, Catherine

Abstract

We examine the effect of Amnesty Plus on dynamic cartel formation in a multimarket setting. The Amnesty Plus program has been adopted as part of the US Corporate Leniency Policy in 1999 and is now vigorously advertised as one of the most compelling tools in generating successful cartel investigations. Amnesty Plus is aimed at attracting amnesty applications by encouraging firms, convicted in one market, to report their collusive agreements in other markets. We show that Amnesty Plus has two opposite effects on firms' ability and incentives to collude which are both increasing in the fine reduction granted. First, Amnesty Plus can reduce the deterrence of cartel activities by making it easier for firms to sustain multimarket collusion through strategies involving self-reporting after a first cartel detection. Second, it can reduce the expected duration of cartels or delay their formation by increasing firms' incentives to self-report after a first cartel detection.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal International Journal of Industrial Organization.

Volume (Year): 30 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 ()
Pages: 624-640

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Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:30:y:2012:i:6:p:624-640

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505551

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Keywords: Collusion; Amnesty Plus; Multimarket contact; Leniency program;

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  1. Jay Pil Choi & Heiko Gerlach, 2010. "Global Cartels, Leniency Programs and International Antitrust Cooperation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3005, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. José Apesteguía & Martin Dufwenberg & Reinhard Selten, 2003. "Blowing the Whistle," Documentos de Trabajo - Lan Gaiak Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra 0303, Departamento de Economía - Universidad Pública de Navarra, revised 2003.
  3. Jeroen Hinloopen & Adriaan R. Soetevent, 2008. "Laboratory evidence on the effectiveness of corporate leniency programs," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(2), pages 607-616.
  4. Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 1999. "On Interdependent Supergames: Multimarket Contact, Concavity, and Collusion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 127-139, November.
  5. Catherine Roux & Thomas von Ungern-Sternberg, 2007. "Leniency Programs in a Multimarket Setting: Amnesty Plus and Penalty Plus," CESifo Working Paper Series 1995, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Hitoshi Matsushima, 1998. "Multimarket Contact, Imperfect Monitoring, and Implicit Collusion," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-24, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
  7. Jay Pil Choi & Heiko Gerlach, 2012. "International Antitrust Enforcement And Multimarket Contact," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(2), pages 635-658, 05.
  8. McCutcheon, Barbara, 1997. "Do Meetings in Smoke-Filled Rooms Facilitate Collusion?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 330-50, April.
  9. Jay Pil Choi & Heiko Gerlach, 2009. "Multi-Market Collusion with Demand Linkages and Antitrust Enforcement," CESifo Working Paper Series 2632, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Joseph E. Harrington, 2008. "OPTIMAL CORPORATE LENIENCY PROGRAMS -super-* ," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 215-246, 06.
  11. Aubert, Cecile & Rey, Patrick & Kovacic, William E., 2006. "The impact of leniency and whistle-blowing programs on cartels," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1241-1266, November.
  12. Brenner, Steffen, 2009. "An empirical study of the European corporate leniency program," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 639-645, November.
  13. Corwin D. Edwards, 1955. "Conglomerate Bigness as a Source of Power," NBER Chapters, in: Business Concentration and Price Policy, pages 331-359 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Thomas, Charles J. & Willig, Robert D., 2006. "The risk of contagion from multimarket contact," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1157-1184, November.
  15. Bigoni, Maria & Fridolfsson, Sven-Olof & Le Coq, Chloé & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2008. "Fines, Leniency and Rewards in Antitrust: An Experiment," Working Paper Series 738, Research Institute of Industrial Economics, revised 06 Aug 2009.
  16. Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2004. "Divide et Impera: Optimal Leniency Programmes," CEPR Discussion Papers 4840, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Nathan H. Miller, 2009. "Strategic Leniency and Cartel Enforcement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 750-68, June.
  18. Motta, M. & Polo, M., 1999. "Leniency Programs and Cartel Prosecution," Economics Working Papers eco99/23, European University Institute.
  19. Aubert, Cécile & Rey, Patrick & Kovacic, William E., 2006. "The impact of leniency and whistle-blowing programs on cartels," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/13637, Paris Dauphine University.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jay Pil Choi & Heiko Gerlach, 2010. "Global Cartels, Leniency Programs and International Antitrust Cooperation," CESifo Working Paper Series 3005, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Jay Pil Choi & Heiko Gerlach, 2009. "International Antitrust Enforcement and Multi-Market Contact," CESifo Working Paper Series 2599, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Dennis Sánchez Navarro, 2013. "Eficacia y asimetrías de los programas de delación en un contexto multimercado: un análisis del caso colombiano en el marco del TLC con Estados Unidos," ESTUDIOS ECONÓMICOS SIC 010905, SUPERINTENDENCIA DE INDUSTRIA Y COMERCIO.
  4. Sánchez Navarro, Dennis, 2013. "Eficacia y asimetrías de los programas de delación en un contexto multi-mercado: un análisis del caso colombiano en el marco del TLC con Estados Unidos
    [Efficacy and asymmetries of the leniency
    ," MPRA Paper 48699, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Natalia Pavlova & Andrey Shastitko, 2014. "Effects Of Hostility Tradition In Antitrust: Leniency Programs And Cooperation Agreements," HSE Working papers WP BRP 58/EC/2014, National Research University Higher School of Economics.

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