Are Antitrust Fines Friendly to Competition? An Endogenous Coalition Formation Approach to Collusive Cartels
A well-established result of the theory of antitrust policy is that it might be optimal to tolerate some degree of collusion among firms if the Authority in charge is constrained by limited resources and imperfect information. However, few doubts are cast on the common opinion by which stricter enforcement of antitrust laws definitely makes market structure more competitive and prices lower. In this paper we challenge this presumption of effectiveness and show that the introduction of a positive (expected) antitrust fine may drive firms from partial cartels to a monopolistic cartel. Moreover, introducing uncertainty on market demand, we show that the social optimal competition policy can call for a finite or even zero antitrust penalty even if there are no enforcement costs. We first show our results in a Cournot industry with five symmetric firms and equilibrium binding agreements. Then we extend the analysis to the case of n symmetric firms and a generic rule of coalition formation. Finally, we consider the case of asymmetric firms and show that our results still hold for an industry populated by one Stackelberg leader and two followers.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2008|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Piazzale Martelli, 8, 60121 Ancona|
Phone: +39 071 220 7100
Fax: +39 071 220 7102
Web page: http://www.dises.univpm.it/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Marco A. Marini, 2007. "An Overview of Coalitions and Networks Formation Models for Economic Applications," Working Papers 0707, CREI Università degli Studi Roma Tre, revised 2007.
- Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984.
"Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information,"
Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
- Green, Edward J. & Porter, Robert H., 1982. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Working Papers 367, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
- Edward J Green & Robert H Porter, 1997. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1147, David K. Levine.
- Steven Shavell & A. Mitchell Polinsky, 2000. "The Economic Theory of Public Enforcement of Law," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 45-76, March.
- Gary S. Becker, 1974. "Crime and Punishment: An Economic Approach," NBER Chapters,in: Essays in the Economics of Crime and Punishment, pages 1-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Souam, Said, 2001. "Optimal antitrust policy under different regimes of fines," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 1-26, January.
- Saïd Souam, 1997. "Optimal Antitrust Policy Under Different Regimes of Fines," Working Papers 97-37, Center for Research in Economics and Statistics.
- Ramon Fauli-Oller, 2000. "Takeover Waves," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(3), pages 189-210, June.
- Ramon Fauli-Oller, 2000. "Takeover Waves," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 9(2), pages 189-210, June.
- James W. Friedman, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(1), pages 1-12.
- 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.
- Martin, Stephen, 2006. "Competition policy, collusion, and tacit collusion," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1299-1332, November.
- Besanko, David & Spulber, Daniel F, 1989. "Antitrust Enforcement under Asymmetric Information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 408-425, June.
- Ray, Debraj & Vohra, Rajiv, 1997. "Equilibrium Binding Agreements," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 30-78, March.
- Ray, D. & Vohra, R., 1993. "Equilibrium Binding Agreements," Papers 21, Boston University - Department of Economics.
- Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2004. "Cartel Pricing Dynamics in the Presence of an Antitrust Authority," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(4), pages 651-673, Winter.
- Joseph E Harrington Jr, 2002. "Cartel Pricing Dynamics in the Presence of an Antitrust Authority," Economics Working Paper Archive 487, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised May 2003.
- Joseph E. Harrington, Jr., 2003. "Cartel Pricing Dynamics in the Presence of an Antitrust Authority," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 26, Society for Computational Economics.
- Frezal, Sylvestre, 2006. "On optimal cartel deterrence policies," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1231-1240, November.
- Philippe Cyrenne, 1999. "On Antitrust Enforcement and the Deterrence of Collusive Behaviour," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 14(3), pages 257-272, May.
- Donsimoni, Marie-Paule, 1985. "Stable heterogeneous cartels," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 451-467, December. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)