Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ex-officio cartel investigations and the use of screens to detect cartels

The OECD has published Ex-officio cartel investigations and the use of screens to detect cartels.

Fighting cartels remains a top priority for competition authorities since cartels are secretive in nature and cartelists take good care in concealing their illegal activities.

Cartel enforcement can therefore be extremely challenging for competition authorities who most of the times can only react after receiving complaints by competitors and customers or applications by participants to a cartel for leniency or amnesty.

More rarely, competition authorities take proactive actions to identify firms which are potentially involved in a cartel conspiracy, or markets which may be affected by cartelisation. These proactive cartel detection tools involve the analysis of observable economic data and firm behaviour, systematic monitoring of media, tracking of firms & individuals to detect behaviour which is inconsistent with a healthy competitive process. Discussing the balance between proactive and reactive detection and particular detection methods may benefit competition authorities evaluating their anti-cartel detection and enforcement policies. 

The OECD Competition Committee discussed Ex officio cartel investigations and the use of screens to detect cartels in October 2013 so as to explore the various screening methods used by agencies and their successful experiences with the implementation of such screens in case enforcement. 

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DOWNLOADS - MEETING DOCUMENTS
Full set of documents (pdf) including an executive summary with key findings, the background note, expert papers, over 25 contributions from participants and a detailed summary of the discussion. 

Key papers and presentations

Background Note by the Secretariat English | Français   

Rosa Abrantes-Metz US Global Economics Group Paper | PPT

David Gilo Israel Antitrust Authority PPT

William Kovacic George Washington University Paper | PPT

Maarten Pieter Schinkel University of Amsterdam Paper | PPT

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/antitrustprof_blog/2014/08/ex-officio-cartel-investigations-and-the-use-of-screens-to-detect-cartels.html

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