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Settlements and appeals in the European Commission's cartel cases: An empirical assessment

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  • Hellwig, Michael
  • Hüschelrath, Kai
  • Laitenberger, Ulrich

Abstract

The introduction of the European Union (EU) Settlement Procedure in 2008 aimed at promoting the procedural efficiency of cartel investigations by the European Commission (EC). We use a data set consisting of 579 firms groups convicted by the EC for cartelization from 2000 to 2015 to investigate the impact of the settlement procedure on the probability to file an appeal. Based on the estimation of a model of the firm's decision to appeal in the presettlement era, we subsequently run out-of-sample predictions to estimate the number of hypothetical appeals cases in the settlement era absent the settlement procedure. Our findings of a settlement-induced reduction in the number of appeals of up to 55 percent allow the conclusion that the introduction of the settlement procedure generated substantial additional benefits to society beyond its undisputed key contribution of a faster and more efficient handling of cartel investigations by the EC.

Suggested Citation

  • Hellwig, Michael & Hüschelrath, Kai & Laitenberger, Ulrich, 2016. "Settlements and appeals in the European Commission's cartel cases: An empirical assessment," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-010, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:zewdip:16010
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    1. Steven Shavell, 2010. "On the Design of the Appeals Process: The Optimal Use of Discretionary Review versus Direct Appeal," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(1), pages 63-108, January.
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    3. Shavell, Steven, 1995. "The Appeals Process as a Means of Error Correction," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 379-426, June.
    4. Ascione, Aurora & Motta, Massimo, 2008. "Settlements in cartel cases," MPRA Paper 24416, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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    6. George L. Priest & Benjamin Klein, 1984. "The Selection of Disputes for Litigation," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(1), pages 1-56, January.
    7. Theodore Eisenberg & Henry S. Farber, 2013. "Why Do Plaintiffs Lose Appeals? Biased Trial Courts, Litigious Losers, or Low Trial Win Rates?," American Law and Economics Review, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 73-109.
    8. Fournier, Gary M & Zuehlke, Thomas W, 1989. "Litigation and Settlement: An Empirical Approach," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(2), pages 189-195, May.
    9. Hüschelrath, Kai & Laitenberger, Ulrich, 2015. "The settlement procedure in EC cartel cases: An empirical assesment," ZEW Discussion Papers 15-064, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    10. Cooter, Robert D & Rubinfeld, Daniel L, 1989. "Economic Analysis of Legal Disputes and Their Resolution," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(3), pages 1067-1097, September.
    11. Hugh C. Briggs III & Kathleen D. Huryn & Mark E. McBride, 1996. "Treble Damages and the Incentive to Sue and Settle," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(4), pages 770-786, Winter.
    12. Perloff, Jeffrey M & Rubinfeld, Daniel L & Ruud, Paul, 1996. "Antitrust Settlements and Trial Outcomes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(3), pages 401-409, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Fotis, Panagiotis & Tselekounis, Markos, 2020. "Optimal Reduction of Cartel Fines induced by the Settlement Procedure," MPRA Paper 99154, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Hans W. Friederiszick, & Linda Gratz, & Michael Rauber,, 2019. "The impact of EU cartel policy reforms on the timing of settlements in private follow-on damages disputes: An empirical assessment of cases from 2001 to 2015," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-19-03, ESMT European School of Management and Technology.
    3. Hellwig, Michael & Hüschelrath, Kai, 2016. "Cartel cases and the cartel enforcement process in the European Union 2001-2015: A quantitative assessment," ZEW Discussion Papers 16-063, ZEW - Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research.
    4. Hans W. Friederiszick, & Linda Gratz, & Michael Rauber,, 2019. "The impact of EU cartel policy reforms on the timing of settlements in private follow-on damages disputes: An empirical assessment of cases from 2001 to 2015," ESMT Research Working Papers ESMT-19-03_R1, ESMT European School of Management and Technology, revised 25 Jun 2020.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    antitrust policy; cartels; settlements; appeals; ex-post evaluation; European Union;

    JEL classification:

    • K21 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Antitrust Law
    • L41 - Industrial Organization - - Antitrust Issues and Policies - - - Monopolization; Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices

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