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Title:The law and economics of enhancing cartel enforcement: Using information from non-cartel investigations to prosecute cartels PDF Logo
Authors:Ghosal, Vivek
Issue Date:2011
Series/Report no.:CESifo working paper: Industrial Organisation 3506
Abstract:I present the following proposal: information revealed during non-cartel investigations by competition law enforcement authorities, such as evaluation of M&As or investigation of monopolization (dominance) conduct, should be directly used to investigate and prosecute cartels. Currently, in several jurisdictions, information acquired in, for example, a M&A investigation typically cannot be directly used for a cartel case due to the underlying statutes and the legal and administrative procedures that govern information use. Reviewing the management and corporate strategy literature, I note that M&As form a vital part of firms' core business strategy, with the longer-run strategic aspects being more important. These longer-run strategies could be jeopardized if the firms were engaging in collusion, as the likelihood of detection and prosecution would increase under the proposed rule change, which would punish bad (collusive) behavior. I argue that irrespective of exactly how many cartels are actually prosecuted via this channel, the proposal has the likelihood of creating a meaningful deterrence effect. I also discuss the potential downsides related to Type 1 errors and administrative costs. Overall, I argue that the proposed rule change could increase the efficiency and effectiveness of cartel enforcement, and open an additional front in the fight against hardcore cartels that operate within jurisdictions as well as internationally.
Subjects:cartels
enforcement
law and economics
JEL:A10
D49
K00
K14
K21
L00
L40
L44
L49
M00
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:CESifo Working Papers, CESifo Group Munich

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