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The role of contribution among defendants in private antitrust litigation


  • Hviid, Morten
  • Medvedev, Andrei


The incidence of private actions for damages in antitrust cases has varied markedly across jurisdictions. The procedural rules surrounding private litigation may account for some of these differences. This paper explores the effect of rules concerning contribution among multiple defendants who are jointly and severally liable for a cartel infringement. The no-contribution rule is shown to lead to higher levels of aggregate damages and more information revelation to the private plaintiff. However the no-contribution rule also has the potential to neutralise any public leniency programme, thereby possibly reducing the number of cartels detected.

Suggested Citation

  • Hviid, Morten & Medvedev, Andrei, 2010. "The role of contribution among defendants in private antitrust litigation," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 306-316, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:irlaec:v:30:y:2010:i:4:p:306-316

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Feessa, Eberhard & Muehlheusser, Gerd, 2000. "Settling multidefendant lawsuits under incomplete information," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 295-313, June.
    2. Joseph E. Harrington, 2008. "OPTIMAL CORPORATE LENIENCY PROGRAMS -super-," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 215-246, June.
    3. 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.
    4. Spagnolo, Giancarlo, 2004. "Divide et Impera: Optimal Leniency Programmes," CEPR Discussion Papers 4840, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Motta, Massimo & Polo, Michele, 2003. "Leniency programs and cartel prosecution," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 347-379, March.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/13637 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Easterbrook, Frank H & Landes, William M & Posner, Richard A, 1980. "Contribution among Antitrust Defendants: A Legal and Economic Analysis," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(2), pages 331-370, October.
    8. Jeong-Yoo Kim & Joon Song, 2007. "Signal Jamming in Pretrial Negotiation with Multiple Defendants," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 91(2), pages 177-200, June.
    9. Klerman, Daniel, 1996. "Settling Multidefendant Lawsuits: The Advantage of Conditional Setoff Rules," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 25(2), pages 445-462, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Welter, Dominik & Napel, Stefan, 2016. "Responsibility-based allocation of cartel damages," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145886, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Frederik Silbye, 2012. "A note on antitrust damages and leniency programs," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 691-699, June.

    More about this item


    Private damages Procedural rules Cartels Leniency;

    JEL classification:

    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • L40 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - General


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