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The fight against cartels: a transatlantic perspective

  • Emilie Dargaud

    ()

    (University of Lyon & CNRS, GATE)

  • Andrea Mantovani

    ()

    (University of Bologna & IEB)

  • Carlo Reggiani

    ()

    (University of Manchester)

The fight against cartels is a priority for antitrust authorities on both sides of the Atlantic. What differs between the EU and the US is not the basic toolkit for achieving deterrence, but to whom it is targeted. In the EU, pecuniary sanctions against the firm are the only instruments available to the Commission, while in the US criminal sanctions are also widely employed. The aim of this paper is to compare two different types of fines levied on managerial firms when they collude. We consider a profit based fine as opposed to a delegation based fine, with the latter targeting the manager in a more direct way. Under the assumption of revenue equivalence, we find that the delegation based fine, although distortive, is more effective in deterring cartels than the profit based one. When evaluating social welfare, a trade-off between deterrence and output distortion can arise. However, if the antitrust authority focuses on consumer surplus, then the delegation based fine is to be preferred.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Economia de Barcelona (IEB) in its series Working Papers with number 2013/25.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ieb:wpaper:2013/6/doc2013-25
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  1. Friedman, James W, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(113), pages 1-12, January.
  2. Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. & Joe Chen, 2005. "Cartel Pricing Dynamics with Cost Variability and Endogenous Buyer Detection," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-359, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
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  9. Marie-Laure Allain & Marcel Boyer & Rachidi Kotchoni & Jean-Pierre Ponssard, 2011. "The Determination of Optimal Fines in Cartel Cases The Myth of Underdeterrence," Working Papers hal-00631432, HAL.
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  12. Chen, Zhijun & Rey, Patrick, 2007. "On the Design of Leniency Programs," IDEI Working Papers 452, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse, revised Jan 2012.
  13. Joseph E. Harrington, 2005. "Optimal Cartel Pricing In The Presence Of An Antitrust Authority," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 46(1), pages 145-169, 02.
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