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Registered cartels in Austria: An overview

Author

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  • Fink, Nikolaus
  • Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp
  • Stahl, Konrad
  • Zulehner, Christine

Abstract

Cartels were legal to a large extent in Austria until the country's EU Accession in 1995. We examine archival material on registered horizontal cartels to learn about their inner working. Applying content analysis to legally binding cartel contracts, we comprehensively document different collusion methods along the lines described by Stigler (1964). Quota cartels employ regular reporting schemes and use compensation mechanisms for departures from set quotas. Specialization cartels divide markets, and rely the least on information exchange and punishment. Price and payment condition cartels primarily aim to prevent secret price cuts, requiring information provision upon request, allow for discretionary decision-taking and (sometimes immediate) punishment. These stylized facts on the contractual arrangements suggest that the possibility to write legally binding agreements was employed to address the usual obstacles to sustaining collusion.

Suggested Citation

  • Fink, Nikolaus & Schmidt-Dengler, Philipp & Stahl, Konrad & Zulehner, Christine, 2015. "Registered cartels in Austria: An overview," ZEW Discussion Papers 14-058, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:14058
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. John Asker & Allan Collard-Wexler & Jan De Loecker, 2017. "Market Power, Production (Mis)Allocation and OPEC," NBER Working Papers 23801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Nikolaus Fink, 2016. "Formation and Adaptation of the Sugar Cartel in Austria–Hungary," WIFO Working Papers 508, WIFO.
    3. Marcel Boyer & Anne Catherine Faye & Rachidi Kotchoni, 2017. "Challenges and Pitfalls in Cartel Policy and Fining," CIRANO Working Papers 2017s-20, CIRANO.
    4. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Collusion; Cartels; Legal Cartels; Contracts;

    JEL classification:

    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
    • L43 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Legal Monopolies and Regulation or Deregulation

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