Challenges and Pitfalls in Cartel Policy and Fining

We analyze significant challenges and pitfalls faced by antitrust authorities in the implementation of competition policies particularly against naked cartels and propose measures principled in economic theory to circumvent these issues. We review leniency programs in different jurisdictions, the private versus public control of cartels, as well as the determination of cartel fines and other punishment instruments. Regarding cartel fines, we first discuss the sometimesconflicting objectives of restitution and deterrence, then the economic-based versus legal- and proportional-based punishment. Moreover, we assess the proper modeling of cartel dynamics including the probability of detection and conviction, the relevant cartel duration, and the estimation of but-for prices and cartel overcharges.

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