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Antitrust policy and price collusion. Public agencies vs delegation

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  • Gianmaria Martini
  • Cinzia Rovesti

Abstract

This paper investigates the effectiveness of antitrust policy in fighting horizontal collusion under different regimes of policy implementation. We consider two regimes : a public agency regime, where an antitrust authority is in charge of competition policy, and a "delegation" regime, where the policy is chosen by consumers. In both regimes the policy is implemented under discretion. The analysis shows that delegation dominates, both in case of complete and imperfect information about production costs, the public agency regime because consumers credibly start off an higher level of investigation activity than the public agency. This resuit implies that the public agency will fight the cases involving "relevant" anti-competitive activities, while consumers will act also against "minor" violations. The combination of the two regimes yields an higher welfare than having only a public agency in charge of competition policy, because consumers can partially relax the agency's limited resources constraint.
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Suggested Citation

  • Gianmaria Martini & Cinzia Rovesti, 2004. "Antitrust policy and price collusion. Public agencies vs delegation," Recherches économiques de Louvain, De Boeck Université, vol. 70(2), pages 127-151.
  • Handle: RePEc:cai:reldbu:rel_702_0127
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Schwartz, Warren F. & Wickelgren, Abraham L., 2011. "Optimal antitrust enforcement: Competitor suits, entry, and post-entry competition," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7), pages 967-972.
    2. Tim Reuter, 2016. "Private antitrust enforcement and the role of harmed parties in public enforcement," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 479-507, June.
    3. Peter Grajzl & Andrzej Baniak, 2015. "Private Enforcement, Corruption, and Antitrust Design," CESifo Working Paper Series 5602, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Bourjade, Sylvain & Rey, Patrick & Seabright, Paul, 2009. "Private Antitrust Enforcement in the Presence of Pre-Trial Bargaining," IDEI Working Papers 499, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    5. Sylvain Bourjade & Patrick Rey & Paul Seabright, 2009. "PRIVATE ANTITRUST ENFORCEMENT IN THE PRESENCE OF PRE-TRIAL BARGAINING -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(3), pages 372-409, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation

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