IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Cartels: Sanctions against Individuals


  • OECD


Corporate sanctions rarely are sufficiently high to be an optimal deterrent against cartels. Sanctions against natural persons can thus complement them. There is no systematic evidence proving the deterrent effects of sanctions on individuals, and/or assessing whether such sanctions can be justified. There is a trend among countries to accept as self-evident that individual sanctions, including imprisonment, can be a useful part of effective anti-cartel enforcement. If a country provides for individual sanctions, a strong argument can be made that relatively short prison sentences are the most cost effective deterrent. However, there are also reasons why countries may provide for longer prison sentences, most importantly that only longer statutory sentences adequately express a society’s condemnation of hard-core cartels. In addition to increasing levels of deterrence, sanctions against individuals can be a powerful incentive for individuals to reveal information about existing cartels and to cooperate in investigations. International law does not recognise the principle of double jeopardy that would prevent authorities in different countries from prosecuting the same person for participation in the same cartel. Nevertheless, where cartels are investigated in a multi-jurisdictional context, jurisdictions may consider arrangements to ensure that only one of them prosecutes an individual.

Suggested Citation

  • Oecd, 2009. "Cartels: Sanctions against Individuals," OECD Journal: Competition Law and Policy, OECD Publishing, vol. 9(3), pages 7-47.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:dafkaa:5ksnsw7z817d

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text available to READ online. PDF download available to OECD iLibrary subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. 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.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:dafkaa:5ksnsw7z817d. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.