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Quantification of harm in damages actions for antitrust infringements: Insights from German cartel cases


  • Hans W. Friederiszick

    (ESMT Competition Analysis)

  • Lars-Hendrik Röller

    (ESMT European School of Management and Technology)


This paper argues that empirical economic analysis in court proceedings is subject to important economic and legal restrictions, cumulating in a fundamental trade-off between accuracy and practicality. We draw lessons from two influential German court cases – the paper wholesaler cartel decision of 2007 and the cement cartel decision of 2009. We characterise the trade-offs arguing that they need to be well understood, made transparent, and that decisions on how to proceed in light of these trade-offs have to be taken upfront by the court. In this respect, we believe that the three-step procedure (design, application, and robustness checks) followed by the German court in the cement case is well suited to meet the appropriate legal standard and requirements, both with respect to accuracy and practicality.

Suggested Citation

  • Hans W. Friederiszick & Lars-Hendrik Röller, 2010. "Quantification of harm in damages actions for antitrust infringements: Insights from German cartel cases," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-10-001, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
  • Handle: RePEc:esm:wpaper:esmt-10-001

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Joseph E. Harrington, 2004. "Post-Cartel Pricing During Litigation," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 517-533, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kai Hüschelrath & Kathrin Müller & Tobias Veith, 2013. "Concrete Shoes For Competition: The Effect Of The German Cement Cartel On Market Price," Journal of Competition Law and Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(1), pages 97-123.
    2. Kai Hüschelrath & Tobias Veith, 2014. "Cartel Detection in Procurement Markets," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 35(6), pages 404-422, September.
    3. Harrington, Joseph E. & Hüschelrath, Kai & Laitenberger, Ulrich & Smuda, Florian, 2015. "The discontent cartel member and cartel collapse: The case of the German cement cartel," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 106-119.
    4. F. Maier-Rigaud & R. Inderst & U. Schwalbe, 2013. "Quantifizierung von Schäden durch Wettbewerbsverstöße," Post-Print hal-00845779, HAL.
    5. Kai Hüschelrath & Kathrin Müller & Tobias Veith, 2016. "Estimating damages from price-fixing: the value of transaction data," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 41(3), pages 509-535, June.
    6. Kai Hüschelrath & Tobias Veith, 2016. "Cartelization, Cartel Breakdown, and Price Behavior: Evidence from the German Cement Industry," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 81-100, March.
    7. Harrington, Joseph E. & Hüschelrath, Kai & Laitenberger, Ulrich, 2016. "Rent sharing to control non-cartel supply in the German cement market," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-025, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    8. Welter, Dominik & Napel, Stefan, 2016. "Responsibility-based allocation of cartel damages," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145886, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    9. Frank Maier-Rigaud & Ulrich Schwalbe, 2013. "Quantification of Antitrust Damages," Working Papers 2013-ECO-09, IESEG School of Management.
    10. Hunold, Matthias & Hüschelrath, Kai & Laitenberger, Ulrich & Muthers, Johannes, 2017. "Competition, collusion and spatial sales patterns: Theory and evidence," ZEW Discussion Papers 17-035, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    11. Fink, Nikolaus & Frübing, Stefan, 2015. "Legal and illegal cartels in the European cement industry," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-066, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    12. Doose, Anna Maria, 2013. "Methods for calculating cartel damages: A survey," Ilmenau Economics Discussion Papers 83, Ilmenau University of Technology, Institute of Economics.
    13. Hüschelrath, Kai & Veith, Tobias, 2011. "The impact of cartelization on pricing dynamics: Evidence from the German cement industry," ZEW Discussion Papers 11-067, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.

    More about this item


    antitrust law; horizontal anticompetitive practices; quantification of damages;

    JEL classification:

    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
    • C10 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - General

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