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Effectiveness of Antitrust Sanctions on Modern International Cartels

Author

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  • John Connor

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Abstract

This paper assesses the antitrust fines and private penalties imposed on the participants of 260 international cartels discovered during 1990–2005, using four indicators of enforcement effectiveness. First, the United States is almost always the first to investigate and sanction international cartels, and its investigations are about seven times faster than EU probes. Second, US investigations were more likely to be kept confidential than those in Europe, but the gap nearly disappeared since 2000. Third, median government antitrust fines average less than 10% of affected commerce, but rises to about 35% in the case of multi-continental conspiracies. Civil settlements in jurisdictions where they are permitted are typically 6 to 12% of sales. Canadian and US fines and settlements imposed higher penalties than other jurisdictions. Fourth, fines on cartels that operated in Europe averaged a bit more than half of their estimated overcharges; those prosecuted only in North America paid civil and criminal sanctions of roughly single damages; and global cartels prosecuted in both jurisdictions typically paid less than single damages. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2006

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jincot:v:6:y:2006:i:3:p:195-223
    DOI: 10.1007/s10842-006-0028-9
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10842-006-0028-9
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jonathan B. Baker, 2003. "The Case for Antitrust Enforcement," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 27-50, Fall.
    2. 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.
    3. Margaret Levenstein & Valerie Suslow & Lynda Oswald, 2003. "International Price-Fixing Cartels and Developing Countries: A Discussion of Effects and Policy Remedies," NBER Working Papers 9511, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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.
    5. Michael F. Sproul, 2009. "Antitrust and Prices," Economic Policy, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, vol. 2, pages 84-95, April.
    6. Robert W. Crandall & Clifford Winston, 2005. "Does antitrust policy improve consumer welfare? Assessing the evidence," Chapters,in: Governments, Competition and Utility Regulation, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    7. 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).
    8. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Carree & Andrea Günster & Maarten Schinkel, 2010. "European Antitrust Policy 1957–2004: An Analysis of Commission Decisions," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 36(2), pages 97-131, March.
    2. Catarina Marvão, 2016. "The EU Leniency Programme and Recidivism," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-27, February.
    3. Ghosal, Vivek, 2006. "Discovering Cartels: Dynamic Interrelationships between Civil and Criminal Antitrust Investigations," MPRA Paper 5499, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. John Connor & C. Gustav Helmers, 2006. "Statistics On Modern Private International Cartels, 1990-2005," Working Papers 06-11, Purdue University, College of Agriculture, Department of Agricultural Economics.
    5. 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.
    6. Ghosal Vivek, 2011. "The Law and Economics of Enhancing Cartel Enforcement: Using Information From Non-Cartel Investigations to Prosecute Cartels," Review of Law & Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 7(2), pages 501-538, December.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. Svetlana Avdasheva & Polina Kryuchkova, 2013. "Law And Economics Of Antitrust Enforcement In Russia," HSE Working papers WP BRP 05/PA/2013, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    10. repec:oup:jcomle:v:4:y:2008:i:1:p:31-59. is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Kalyn Coatney & Jesse Tack, 2014. "The Impacts of an Antitrust Investigation: A Case Study in Agriculture," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 44(4), pages 423-441, June.
    12. Stefania Grezzana, 2016. "Lost In Time And Space: The Deterrence Effect Of Cartel Busts On The Retail Gasoline Market," Anais do XLIII Encontro Nacional de Economia [Proceedings of the 43rd Brazilian Economics Meeting] 158, ANPEC - Associação Nacional dos Centros de Pósgraduação em Economia [Brazilian Association of Graduate Programs in Economics].
    13. Avdasheva, Svetlana & Kryuchkova, Polina, 2015. "The ‘reactive’ model of antitrust enforcement: When private interests dictate enforcement actions – The Russian case," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 200-208.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    anti-trust sanction; cartel; optimal deterrence; L12; L42; K22; B14; F29;

    JEL classification:

    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
    • B14 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Socialist; Marxist
    • F29 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Other

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