For a general class of oligopoly models with price competition, we analyze the impact of ex-ante leniency programs in antitrust regulation on the endogenous maximal-sustainable cartel price. This impact depends upon industry characteristics including its cartel culture. Our analysis disentangles the effects of traditional antitrust regulation and the leniency program. Ex-ante leniency programs are effective if and only if these offer substantial rewards to the self-reporting firm. This is in contrast to currently employed programs that are therefore ineffective.
Cartel Antitrust Policy Antitrust Law Antitrust regulation Leniency program Self-reporting repeated game