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CARTEL DAMAGES CLAIMS AND THE PASSING-ON DEFENSE -super-

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  • FRANK VERBOVEN
  • THEON van DIJK

Abstract

We develop a general framework for computing cartel damages claims. We decompose a direct purchaser plaintiff's lost profits in three parts: the price overcharge, the pass-on effect and the output effect. The output effect is usually neglected: it is the lost business resulting from passing on the price overcharge. To evaluate the relative importance of the three effects, we introduce various models of imperfect competition for the plaintiff's industry. We show that the passing-on defense generally remains justified after accounting for the output effect, provided that the cartel affects a sufficient number of firms. We derive exact discounts to the price overcharge, and illustrate how to compute these in the European vitamin cartel. We finally extend our framework to measure the cartel's total harm, i.e., the total damages to direct purchasers and their consumers. Copyright 2009 The Authors. Journal compilation 2009 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. and the Editorial Board of The Journal of Industrial Economics.

Suggested Citation

  • FRANK VERBOVEN & THEON van DIJK, 2009. "CARTEL DAMAGES CLAIMS AND THE PASSING-ON DEFENSE -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 457-491, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jindec:v:57:y:2009:i:3:p:457-491
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Werden, Gregory J & Froeb, Luke M, 1994. "The Effects of Mergers in Differentiated Products Industries: Logit Demand and Merger Policy," Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(2), pages 407-426, October.
    2. Farrell, Joseph & Shapiro, Carl, 1990. "Horizontal Mergers: An Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 107-126, March.
    3. David Genesove & Wallace P. Mullin, 1998. "Testing Static Oligopoly Models: Conduct and Cost in the Sugar Industry, 1890-1914," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(2), pages 355-377, Summer.
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    Cited by:

    1. F. Maier-Rigaud & R. Inderst & U. Schwalbe, 2013. "Quantifizierung von Schäden durch Wettbewerbsverstöße," Post-Print hal-00845779, HAL.
    2. Boone, Jan & Müller, Wieland, 2012. "The distribution of harm in price-fixing cases," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 265-276.
    3. Ulrich Laitenberger & Florian Smuda, 2015. "Estimating Consumer Damages In Cartel Cases," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 955-973.
    4. Bertram Neurohr, 2016. "A tractable cost pass-through benchmark," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 36(3), pages 1603-1608.
    5. Doose, Anna Maria, 2013. "Methods for calculating cartel damages: A survey," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 83, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    6. Frank Maier-Rigaud, 2013. "Towards a European Directive on Damages Actions," Working Papers 2013-ECO-16, IESEG School of Management.
    7. Willem H. Boshoff, 2015. "Illegal Cartel Overcharges in Markets with a Legal Cartel History: Bitumen Prices in South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 83(2), pages 220-239, June.

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