LAW & ECONOMICS: EUROPEAN AND INTERNATIONAL CARTELS - COMPARATIVE STUDY - DURATION - AFFECTED MARKETS - ORGANIZATION - NUMBER OF UNDERTAKINGS - EXCHANGES OF DATA - CAUSES OF BREAKUP - RECIDIVISM

Cartels in Europe: main features

This article draws an exhaustive panorama of all the cartels convicted by the European Commission (111 cartels convicted from 1959 to 2009) and depicts the cartel profile in Europe. We analyze our sample comparing our results with those obtained from international and U.S. data. We study cartels duration, the affected markets, the organization of the cartel (number of undertakings, involvement of a trade association, market allocations, exchanges of data, side payments), causes of cartels breakup and recidivism.

I. Introduction 1. From 1969 to June 2009, the Commission has detected and condemned 111 cartels (cases in which fines were inflicted). Based on the information collected from European Commission decisions, we draw the profile of the cartels convicted by the Commission, which has never been done up to date [1]. This picture could improve the « screening » methods of detection, identifying sector at risk and better understanding the functioning of cartels and their organization. Moreover, we compare our results with those obtained in other studies on international cartels or cartels convicted in the United States by the Department of Justice. 2. In the first section, we estimate the average cartel duration in Europe and discuss the methodological issues raised by the measure of cartels

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Emmanuel Combe, Constance Monnier-Schlumberger, Cartels in Europe: main features, May 2010, Concurrences Review N° 2-2010, Art. N° 30906, pp. 23-31

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