Tuesday, December 14, 2010
European Commission Cartel Prosecutions and Fines, 1998-2006 - An Updated Statistical Analysis of Fines under the 1998 Penalty Guidelines
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Cento Veljanovski - Case Associates; Institute of Economic Affairs; Centre for Regulation and Market Analysis has prepared the impressive European Commission Cartel Prosecutions and Fines, 1998-2006 - An Updated Statistical Analysis of Fines under the 1998 Penalty Guidelines. This must have been a real labor of love to collect.
ABSTRACT: This paper brings up to date an on-going statistical analysis of the fines imposed in cartel prosecutions commenced between 1998 and 2006 by the European Commission and courts on appeal under the 1998 Penalty Guidelines and completed to the end of October 2010. Based on an analysis of all 46 fully reported cartel decisions (which represent all the cartels prosecuted under the 1998 Penalty Guidelines) involving 63 cartels and 355 firms, the report examines how fines were calculated in practice under the guidelines, leniency notices, and adjusted by the European courts on appeal. This update includes additional analysis of the structure of fines, recidivism, appeals, and the duration of the European Commission's investigations.
Among the main findings are that:
- Firms were fined considerably less than provided for under the guidelines The average fine per firm fell significantly between 2007 and 2010
- Repeat offenders were let off lightly, with some being fined as little as 10% per additional prior offence.
- Repeat offenders benefited disproportionately from the Commission's leniency policy, and many are appealing their fines.
- The published decisions redact an excessive amount of information on the fining process.