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Global Antitrust Prosecutions of Modern International Cartels

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  • John M. Connor

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Abstract

International cartelists face investigations and possible fines in a score of national and supranational jurisdictions, but the three with the most consistent legal responses to global cartels are the United States, Canada, and the European Union. This paper examines the antitrust fines and private penalties imposed on the participants of 167 international cartels discovered during 1990--2003. While more than U.S.$10 billion in penalties has been imposed, it is doubtful that such monetary sanctions can deter modern international cartels. The apparently large size of government fines is distorted by one overwhelming case. Moreover, deterrence is frustrated by the failure of compensatory private suits to take hold outside of North America and the near absence of fines in most Asian jurisdictions. Without significant increases in cartel detection, in the levels of expected fines or civil settlements, or expansion of the standing of buyers to seek compensation, international price fixing will remain rational business conduct.

Suggested Citation

  • John M. Connor, 2004. "Global Antitrust Prosecutions of Modern International Cartels," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 239-267, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jincot:v:4:y:2004:i:3:p:239-267
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Connor, John M., 2005. "Price-Fixing Overcharges: Legal And Economic Evidence," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19254, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. John M. Connor, 2003. "Private International Cartels: Effectiveness, Welfare, and Anticartel Enforcement," Working Papers 03-12, Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    3. Lynda Oswald & Valerie Suslow & Margaret Levenstein & Manuel Pastor, 2003. "International Price-Fixing Cartels and Developing Countries: A Discussion of Effects and Policy Remedies," Working Papers wp53, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
    4. Simon J. Evenett & Margaret C. Levenstein & Valerie Y. Suslow, 2001. "International Cartel Enforcement: Lessons from the 1990s," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(9), pages 1221-1245, September.
    5. Margaret C. Levenstein & Valerie Y. Suslow, 2002. "What Determines Cartel Success?," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2002-01, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Prof. Xiaowei Cai Ph.D, 2011. "Antitrust Agencies And Hard-Core Cartels: A Game Theoretic Perspective," Revista Tinerilor Economisti (The Young Economists Journal), University of Craiova, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, vol. 1(17), pages 150-161, November.
    2. van Bergeijk, P.A.G., 2009. "What could anti-trust in the OECD do for development?," ISS Working Papers - General Series 18720, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.
    3. Roland Königsgruber & David Windisch, 2014. "Does European Union policy making explain accounting choices? An empirical analysis of the effects of investigations by the Directorate General for Competition on accounting choices," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 18(3), pages 717-731, August.
    4. Connor, John M. & Bolotova, Yuliya, 2006. "Cartel overcharges: Survey and meta-analysis," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1109-1137, November.
    5. Hinloopen Jeroen, 2007. "The Pro-collusive Effect of Increasing the Repose Period for Price Fixing Agreements," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-13, March.
    6. Bertrand, Olivier & Ivaldi, Marc, 2006. "European Competition Policy in International Markets," IDEI Working Papers 419, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
    7. Azevedo, Paulo Furquim de & Henriksen, Alexandre Lauri, 2010. "Cartel deterrence and settlements: the Brazilian experience," Textos para discussão 265, FGV/EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    8. Boone, Jan & Žigić, Krešimir, 2015. "Trade policy in markets with collusion: The case of North–South R&D spillovers," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 224-237.
    9. Michael A. Utton, 2011. "Cartels and Economic Collusion," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 14208.
    10. Robert M. Feinberg & Minsoo Park, 2015. "Deterrence Effects Of Korean Antitrust Enforcement On Producer Prices And Profit Margins," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(4), pages 917-933.
    11. Cai, Xiaowei & Stiegert, Kyle W., 2010. "Cartel Dissolution with Effective Antitrust Policy," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 61297, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    12. Hinloopen, Jeroen, 2006. "Internal cartel stability with time-dependent detection probabilities," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1213-1229, November.
    13. Liberty Mncube, 2014. "The South African Wheat Flour Cartel: Overcharges at the Mill," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 14(4), pages 487-509, December.
    14. K. Mehta, 2005. "Comments on Switgard Feuerstein's “Collusion in Industrial Economics—A Survey”," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 217-222, December.
    15. John Connor, 2006. "Effectiveness of Antitrust Sanctions on Modern International Cartels," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 6(3), pages 195-223, December.
    16. James F. Nieberding, 2006. "Estimating overcharges in antitrust cases using a reduced-form approach: Methods and issues," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 9, pages 361-380, November.
    17. Yuliya Bolotova & John M. Connor & Douglas J. Miller, 2007. "Factors influencing the magnitude of cartel overcharges: An empirical analysis of food-industry cartels," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(1), pages 17-33.

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