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Antitrust policy and price collusion : public agencies vs delegation

  • Gianmaria MARTINI

    (Department of Management and Information Technology, University of Bergamo)

  • Cinzia ROVESTI

    (Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato, Roma)

This paper investigates the effectiveness of antitrust policy in fighting horizontal collusion under different regimes of policy implementation. We consider two regimes : a public agency regime, where an antitrust authority is in charge of competition policy, and a "delegation" regime, where the policy is chosen by consumers. In both regimes the policy is implemented under discretion. The analysis shows that delegation dominates, both in case of complete and imperfect information about production costs, the public agency regime because consumers credibly start off an higher level of investigation activity than the public agency. This resuit implies that the public agency will fight the cases involving "relevant" anti-competitive activities, while consumers will act also against "minor" violations. The combination of the two regimes yields an higher welfare than having only a public agency in charge of competition policy, because consumers can partially relax the agency's limited resources constraint.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES) in its series Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) with number 2004021.

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Length: 16
Date of creation: 01 Jun 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvre:2004021
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  1. James Andreoni & Brian Erard & Jonathan Feinstein, 1998. "Tax Compliance," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(2), pages 818-860, June.
  2. Besanko, David & Spulber, Daniel F, 1990. "Are Treble Damages Neutral? Sequential Equilibrium and Private Antitrust Enforcement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 870-87, September.
  3. Bizjak, John M & Coles, Jeffrey L, 1995. "The Effect of Private Antitrust Litigation on the Stock-Market Valuation of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 436-61, June.
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  9. Jean-Jacques Laffont & Jean Tirole, 1993. "A Theory of Incentives in Procurement and Regulation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121743, June.
  10. Block, Michael K & Feinstein, Jonathan S, 1986. "The Spillover Effect of Antitrust Enforcement," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 68(1), pages 122-31, February.
  11. Reinganum, Jennifer F & Wilde, Louis L, 1986. "Equilibrium Verification and Reporting Policies in a Model of Tax Compliance," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 27(3), pages 739-60, October.
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  14. Banks, Jeffrey S, 1992. "Monopoly Pricing and Regulatory Oversight," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 203-33, Spring.
  15. Saïd Souam, 1998. "Dissuasion de la collusion et efficacité de deux systèmes d'amendes," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 49(3), pages 755-765.
  16. Mailath George J. & Okuno-Fujiwara Masahiro & Postlewaite Andrew, 1993. "Belief-Based Refinements in Signalling Games," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 241-276, August.
  17. Salant, Stephen W, 1987. "Treble Damage Awards in Private Lawsuits for Price Fixing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(6), pages 1326-36, December.
  18. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
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