Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

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

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Penalizing cartels—a spectrum of regimes

Yannis Katsoulacos Evgenia Motchenkova David Ulph analyze Penalizing cartels—a spectrum of regimes.

Abstract: There has been much discussion by both academics and policymakers of the most appropriate way of penalizing cartels taking account of both the effects of different penalty regimes on welfare as well as various implementation considerations such as ease/cost of implementation and transparency/legal certainty. Consequently there now exists a range of proposed penalty regimes—including two put forward by ourselves. While these can all seem like very distinct regimes, in this article we show that they can usefully be thought of as lying along a spectrum, inter-connected by the idea of trying to penalize cartels in relation to the damage they cause. They differ in their informational requirements, and in particular whether some key factors needed to calculate the penalty are case-specific or an average across a wide range of cases. Subtle differences in what information is required and how it is used can sometimes cause significant changes in either the welfare or implementation properties of regimes. This new perspective may provide a helpful way of organizing the discussion about the pros and cons of the different proposals.

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