Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Serial Collusion by Multi-Product Firms

William E. Kovacic, George Washington University - Law School; King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law, Robert C. Marshall, Pennsylvania State University, College of the Liberal Arts - Department of Economic, and Michael J. Meurer, Boston University - School of Law offer evidence about Serial Collusion by Multi-Product Firms.

ABSTRACT: We provide empirical evidence that many multi-product firms have each participated in several cartels over the past 50 years. Standard analysis of cartel conduct, as well as enforcement policy, is rooted in the presumption that each cartel in which a given firm participates is a singular activity, independent of other cartel conduct by the firm. We argue that this analysis is deficient in many respects in the face of serial collusion by multi-product firms. We offer policy recommendations to reign in serial collusion, including a mandatory coordinated effects review for any merger involving a serial colluder, regardless of the apparent nature of the merger.

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