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The Determination of Optimal Fines in Cartel Cases - The Myth of Underdeterrence

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  • Marie-Laure Allain
  • Marcel Boyer

    ()

  • Rachidi Kotchoni
  • Jean-Pierre Ponssard

Abstract

The determination of optimal fines to deter the formation or continuation of cartels is a major objective of competition policy. We provide an analysis of static and dynamic frameworks to characterize the restitution and deterrence properties of fines: cartel stability depends on their ability to prevent deviation by firms, while the benefit of a deviation depends on the fines to be imposed in case of detection by the antitrust authority. We show that the proper consideration of the dynamics of competition has a major impact on the determination of optimal dissuasive fines: our results suggest that a clear majority of fines imposed by the European Commission in recent years meet the deterrence objective. La détermination d’amendes optimales pour dissuader la formation ou la poursuite des cartels est au cœur des politiques de concurrence. Nous définissons un cadre stratégique pour caractériser le caractère restitutif et dissuasif des amendes dans des contextes statique et dynamique : la stabilité d’un cartel dépend de sa capacité à prévenir les déviations dont la profitabilité est fonction des amendes imposées lorsque le cartel est découvert. Nous montrons que la prise en compte appropriée de la dynamique de la concurrence a un impact majeur sur la détermination des amendes dissuasives optimales : nos résultats suggèrent qu’une nette majorité des amendes infligées par la Commission Européenne ces dernières années rencontrent l'objectif de dissuasion.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 2011s-34.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:2011s-34

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Keywords: Optimal fines; cartels; Amendes optimales; cartels;

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Cited by:
  1. Emilie Dargaud & Andrea Mantovani & Carlo Reggiani, 2013. "The fight against cartels: a transatlantic perspective," Working Papers 2013/25, Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB).
  2. Boyer, Marcel & Kotchoni, Rachidi, 2014. "How Much Do Cartels Overcharge?," TSE Working Papers 14-462, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  3. Marcel Boyer & Rachidi Kotchoni, 2012. "How Much Do Cartels Typically Overcharge?," CIRANO Working Papers 2012s-15, CIRANO.

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