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Preventing Innovative Cooperations: The Legal Exemptions Unintended Side Effect

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  • Christian Growitsch
  • Nicole Nulsch
  • Margarethe Rammerstorfer

Abstract

In 2004, European competition law had been faced with considerable changes due to the introduction of the new Council Regulation No. 1/2003. One of the major renewals was the replacement of the centralized notification system for inter-company cooperations in favor of a so-called legal exemption system. We analyze the implications of this reform on the agreements firms implement. In contrast to previous research we focus on the reform’s impact on especially welfare enhancing, namely innovative agreements. We show that the law’s intention to reduce the incentive to establish illegal cartels will be reached. However, by the same mechanism, also highly innovative cooperations might be prevented. To avoid this unintended effect, we conclude that only fines but not the monitoring activities should be increased in order to deter illegal but not innovative agreements.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Halle Institute for Economic Research in its series IWH Discussion Papers with number 6.

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Date of creation: Jun 2008
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Handle: RePEc:iwh:dispap:6-08

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Keywords: competition policy; competition law enforcement; legal exemption system;

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  1. Neven, Damien J. & Roller, Lars-Hendrik, 1991. "European integration and trade flows," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 1295-1309, August.
  2. Garoupa, Nuno, 1997. " The Theory of Optimal Law Enforcement," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(3), pages 267-95, September.
  3. Barros, Pedro Pita, 2003. "Looking behind the curtain--effects from modernization of European Union competition policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(4), pages 613-624, August.
  4. Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
  5. Polinsky, Mitchell & Shavell, Steven, 1979. "The Optimal Tradeoff between the Probability and Magnitude of Fines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(5), pages 880-91, December.
  6. A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2004. "Optimal Fines and Auditing When Wealth is Costly to Observe," Discussion Papers 03-038, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  7. Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters, in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Frédéric Loss & Estelle Malavolti-Grimal & Thibaud Vergé & Fabian Bergès-Sennou, 2005. "European Competition Policy Modernization : From Notifications to Legal Exception," Working Papers 2005-38, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  9. Ulrich Blum & Nicole Steinat & Michael Veltins, 2008. "On the rationale of leniency programs: a game-theoretical analysis," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 209-229, June.
  10. Buccirossi, Paolo & Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2006. "Optimal Fines in the Era of Whistleblowers," CEPR Discussion Papers 5465, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Shavell, Steven, 1993. "The Optimal Structure of Law Enforcement," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(1), pages 255-87, April.
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