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Registered cartels in Austria: an overview

Author

Listed:
  • Nikolaus Fink

    (Austrian Regulatory Authority for Broadcasting and Telecommunications)

  • Philipp Schmidt-Dengler

    (University of Vienna, WIFO, CEPR, CESifo, and ZEW)

  • Konrad Stahl

    (University of Mannheim, CEPR, CESifo, and ZEW)

  • Christine Zulehner

    (Goethe-University Frankfurt, Telecom ParisTech, WIFO, and CEPR)

Abstract

Cartels were legal to a large extent in Austria until the country’s EU accession in 1995. We examine archival material on registered horizontal cartels to learn about their inner working. Applying content analysis to legally binding cartel contracts, we comprehensively document different collusion methods along the lines described by Stigler (J Political Econ 72:44–61, 1964). Quota cartels employ regular reporting schemes and use compensation mechanisms for departures from set quotas. Specialization cartels divide markets, and rely the least on information exchange and punishment. Price and payment condition cartels primarily aim to prevent secret price cuts, requiring information provision upon request, allow for discretionary decision-taking and (sometimes immediate) punishment. These stylized facts on the contractual arrangements suggest that the possibility to write legally binding agreements was employed to address the usual obstacles to sustain collusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Nikolaus Fink & Philipp Schmidt-Dengler & Konrad Stahl & Christine Zulehner, 2017. "Registered cartels in Austria: an overview," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 44(3), pages 385-422, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:ejlwec:v:44:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10657-017-9564-5
    DOI: 10.1007/s10657-017-9564-5
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    Cited by:

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    2. Marcel Boyer & Anne Catherine Faye & Rachidi Kotchoni, 2017. "Challenges and Pitfalls in Cartel Policy and Fining," CIRANO Working Papers 2017s-20, CIRANO.
    3. Marcel Boyer, 2021. "The Retail Gasoline Price-Fixing Cartel in Québec," CIRANO Working Papers 2021s-06, CIRANO.
    4. Andres, Maximilian & Bruttel, Lisa & Friedrichsen, Jana, 2023. "How communication makes the difference between a cartel and tacit collusion: A machine learning approach," EconStor Open Access Articles and Book Chapters, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, vol. 152, pages 1-1.
    5. John Asker & Allan Collard-Wexler & Jan De Loecker, 2017. "Market Power, Production (Mis)Allocation and OPEC," NBER Working Papers 23801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Justus Haucap & Christina Heldman, 2023. "On the sociology of cartels," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 56(2), pages 289-323, October.
    7. Oleksandr Shcherbakov & Naoki Wakamori, 2017. "Identifying the Degree of Collusion Under Proportional Reduction," Staff Working Papers 17-51, Bank of Canada.
    8. Maximilian Andres & Lisa Bruttel & Jana Friedrichsen, 2020. "Choosing between explicit cartel formation and tacit collusion – An experiment," CEPA Discussion Papers 19, Center for Economic Policy Analysis.
    9. Andres, Maximilian & Bruttel, Lisa & Friedrichsen, Jana, 2021. "How do sanctions work? The choice between cartel formation and tacit collusion," VfS Annual Conference 2021 (Virtual Conference): Climate Economics 242372, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    10. Nikolaus Fink, 2016. "Formation and Adaptation of the Sugar Cartel in Austria–Hungary," WIFO Working Papers 508, WIFO.
    11. Hinnerk Gnutzmann & Oskar Kowalewski & Piotr Śpiewanowski, 2020. "Market Structure and Resilience: Evidence from Potash Mine Disasters," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 102(3), pages 911-933, May.
    12. Banta Viorel-Costin, 2022. "The Simplification Model Of Logical Sourcing – Quota Arrangement - For A Multinational Company – Using Sap, Ai And Rpa. A Case Study," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1, pages 195-200, February.
    13. Fink, Nikolaus & Frübing, Stefan, 2015. "Legal and illegal cartels in the European cement industry," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-066, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Collusion; Cartels; Legal cartels; Contracts;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation

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