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A theory of antitrust enforcement game

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  • Jellal, Mohamed
  • Souam, Said

Abstract

We analyze a situation where an antitrust authority delegates to an audit inspector the mission of gathering the sufficient information to condemn a cartel. The authority has two instruments at her disposal: rewarding the inspector with a proportion of the collected fine or providing him with information which enhances the probability of the success of the prosecution. More precisely, we explore the efficiency consequences of a contest between the audit inspector and the cartel. Both of them bid to win the contest by expending efforts. We show that the race issue depends positively on the financial incentives proposed to the inspector but the impact of an increase of the level of the fine, to be paid once an illegal agreement is detected, is ambiguous. Moreover, we show that the optimal combination of the two instruments consists in two regimes. When the marginal cost of providing the relevant information is relatively high, the antitrust authority equally shares the collected fine and does not provide the inspector with any information. Conversely, when this marginal cost is relatively small, the authority uses the two instruments. She has to provide him with the maximum level of information consistent with winning the contest with certainty

Suggested Citation

  • Jellal, Mohamed & Souam, Said, 2012. "A theory of antitrust enforcement game," MPRA Paper 38343, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:38343
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/38343/1/MPRA_paper_38343.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1995. "Corruptible Law Enforcers: How Should They Be Compensated?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(428), pages 145-159, January.
    2. Arun S. Malik, 1990. "Avoidance, Screening and Optimum Enforcement," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 21(3), pages 341-353, Autumn.
    3. David P. Baron & David Besanko, 1984. "Regulation, Asymmetric Information, and Auditing," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(4), pages 447-470, Winter.
    4. Heyes, Anthony G., 1997. "Environmental Regulation by Private Contest," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 407-428, February.
    5. Souam, Said, 2001. "Optimal antitrust policy under different regimes of fines," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 1-26, January.
    6. Dixit, Avinash K, 1987. "Strategic Behavior in Contests," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 891-898, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Antitrust Enforcement; Collusion; Moral Hazard; Contest;

    JEL classification:

    • K42 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L4 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies

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