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Deterrence in Competition Law

Listed author(s):
  • Paolo Buccirossi
  • Lorenzo Ciari
  • Tomaso Duso
  • Giancarlo Spagnolo
  • Cristiana Vitale

This paper provides a comprehensive discussion of the deterrence properties of a competition policy regime. On the basis of the economic theory of law enforcement we identify several factors that are likely to affect its degree of deterrence: 1) sanctions and damages; 2) financial and human resources; 3) powers during the investigation; 4) quality of the law; 5) independence and 6) separation of power. We then discuss how to measure deterrence. We review the literature that uses surveys to solicit direct information on changes in the behavior of firms due to the threats posed by the enforcement of antitrust rules, and the literature based on the analysis of hard data. We finally argue that the most challenging task, both theoretically and empirically, is how to distinguish between “good” deterrence and “bad” deterrence. ZUSAMMENFASSUNG - (Abschreckung im Wettbewerbsrecht) Dieser Beitrag bietet eine umfassende Diskussion über die Abschreckungseigenschaften eines wettbewerbspolitischen Systems. Auf der Grundlage der ökonomischen Theorie der Rechtsdurchsetzung werden mehrere Faktoren identifizier, welche den Abschreckungsgrad des Systems am ehesten beeinflussen können. Diese sind: 1) Sanktionen und Schadensersatzforderungen, 2) finanzielle Ressourcen und Personal der Wettbewerbsbehörde, 3) die Befugnisse der wettbewerbspolitischen Autorität im Rahmen der Untersuchung, 4) die Qualität des Rechtsrahmens, 5) die Unabhängigkeit der Behörde und 6) die Gewaltenteilung. Anschließend wird diskutiert, wie man den Abschreckungsgrad eines wettbewerbspolitischen Systems empirisch messen kann. Zuerst wird die Literatur besprochen, die auf Befragungen beruht. Die Befragungen sollten Aufschluss darüber geben, wie sich das Unternehmensverhalten angesichts der Durchsetzung von wettbewerbspolitischen Maßnahmen ändert. Dem gegenüber wird die Literatur dargestellt, die "harte" Daten nutzt. Schließlich wird argumentiert, dass die anspruchsvollste Aufgabe sowohl theoretisch als auch empirisch darin bestehen wird, zwischen "guter" und "schlechter" Abschreckung durch Wettbewerbspolitik zu unterscheiden.

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Paper provided by Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin (WZB), Research Unit: Competition and Innovation (CIG) in its series CIG Working Papers with number SP II 2009-14.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision: Oct 2009
Handle: RePEc:wzb:wzebiv:spii2009-14
Note: Paper only available in English
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