Enforcement of anticollusion laws against domestic and foreign firms

Do antitrust authorities consider the national identities of firms when enforcing anticollusion laws? Authorities may follow a neutral enforcement approach or focus on either foreign or domestic firms. We investigate these issues in the context of cartel enforcement against EU, US, and rest-of-the-world (ROW) firms by the European Union and the United States—the two jurisdictions with the longest and most robust enforcement histories. Our results indicate that national identities matter. The European Union is more likely to fine domestic and ROW firms than US firms. The United States also disproportionately targets ROW firms, but is no more likely to fine EU firms than domestic firms. With respect to the size of fines, EU enforcement outcomes show no significant differences among categories of firms. The United States, however, levies significantly higher fines on foreign firms than domestic firms, whether from the European Union or the rest of the world.

I. Introduction 1. Given the huge increase in the number of countries with enforcement regimes, antitrust enforcement is prominent within the emerging “global administrative space” that is also occupied by intellectual property law and environmental law (Mitchell and Farnik 2009, p. 238). [1] Whether law and policy will converge has been a central concern to academics and practitioners. Wood (2002) and others recognize that existing statutes diverge in important respects within the three major areas of antitrust law—anticollusion, mergers, and monopolization—and argue that comity will be achieved only through a slow process of harmonization. Closely related to the question of convergence is whether antitrust authorities will favor domestic firms over foreign firms. With globalization,

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  • Analysis Group (Boston)
  • Yale University - School of Management (New Haven)


Edward Snyder, Pierre Y. Cremieux, Enforcement of anticollusion laws against domestic and foreign firms, November 2017, Concurrences Review N° 4-2017, Art. N° 84877,

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