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Survey of Public Attitudes to Price-Fixing and Cartel Enforcement in Britain


  • Andreas Stephan

    () (Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia)


The paper reports on results from a public survey on attitudes to collusion and cartel enforcement in Britain. Respondents demonstrate an understanding that price-fixing is harmful and should be punished. While there is strong support for high corporate fines and naming and shaming, only 1 in 10 Britons think individuals responsible should be imprisoned. Weak perceptions of the severity of price-fixing are confirmed by only 6 in 10 people considering such practices to be dishonest. Sex and age stronly influence attitudes. Education and newspaper readership have less of an effect, indicating poor information dissemination. Only 20% would report their employer's involvement in price-fixing without guarantees of anonymity and/or a reward; 14% would not report at all for fear of consequences. Public opinion is divided as to whether leniency programmes are justifiable. Respondents consider public enforcement to be more important than compensating parties injured by cartels.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Stephan, 2007. "Survey of Public Attitudes to Price-Fixing and Cartel Enforcement in Britain," Working Papers 07-12, Centre for Competition Policy, University of East Anglia.
  • Handle: RePEc:ccp:wpaper:wp07-12

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Cartels; public survey; enforcement; UK cartel offence; leniency; private enforcement; competition law;

    JEL classification:

    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • L42 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Vertical Restraints; Resale Price Maintenance; Quantity Discounts
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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