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Are Cartel Fines Optimal? Theory and Evidence From the European Union

Author

Listed:
  • Marie-Laure Allain
  • Marcel Boyer
  • Rachidi Kotchoni

    () (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Jean-Pierre Ponssard

Abstract

Deterring the formation or continuation of cartels is a major objective of antitrust policy. We develop a dynamic framework to characterize the compensation and deterrence properties of fines, based on the fact that cartel stability depends on the ability to prevent deviation, which itself depends in part on fines imposed in case of detection and conviction. We show that the proper consideration of cartel dynamics plays a major role in determining optimal deterrent fines. Our results suggest that a majority of fines imposed by the European Commission in recent years meet the deterrence objective. Dissuader la formation ou le maintien des cartels est un objectif important de la politique antitrust. Nous développons un cadre analytique dynamique pour caractériser le niveau de dissuasion des amendes et indemnisation, fondé sur le fait que la stabilité d'un cartel dépend de la capacité à prévenir les déviations, qui elle-même dépend en partie des amendes infligées en cas de détection et de conviction. Nous montrons que la prise en compte appropriée de la dynamique des cartels joue un rôle clé dans la détermination du niveau des amendes optimales. Nos résultats suggèrent que les amendes imposées par la Commission Européenne au cours des dernières années sont dissuasives, du moins en majorité
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Suggested Citation

  • Marie-Laure Allain & Marcel Boyer & Rachidi Kotchoni & Jean-Pierre Ponssard, 2014. "Are Cartel Fines Optimal? Theory and Evidence From the European Union," Post-Print hal-01386062, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-01386062
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-univ-paris10.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01386062
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marcel Boyer & Thomas W. Ross & Ralph A. Winter, 2017. "The rise of economics in competition policy: A Canadian perspective," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1489-1524, December.
    2. Marcel Boyer & Rachidi Kotchoni, 2015. "How Much Do Cartel Overcharge?," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 47(2), pages 119-153, September.
    3. Cuiabano, Simone, 2017. "Competition Policy Evaluation through Damage Estimation in Fuel Retail Cartel," TSE Working Papers 17-847, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    4. Marcel Boyer & Anne Catherine Faye & Rachidi Kotchoni, 2017. "Challenges and Pitfalls in Cartel Policy and Fining," CIRANO Working Papers 2017s-20, CIRANO.
    5. Hüschelrath, Kai & Laitenberger, Ulrich, 2015. "The settlement procedure in EC cartel cases: An empirical assesment," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-064, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    6. Marcel Boyer & Rachidi Kotchoni, 2015. "How Much Do Cartel Overcharge? (The "Working Paper" Version)," CIRANO Working Papers 2015s-37, CIRANO.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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