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On the Meaning of Horizontal Agreements in Competition Law


Louis Kaplow


Harvard Law School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

May 1, 2011

Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper No. 691

Abstract:     
Competition law’s prohibition on price fixing and related horizontal agreements is one of its few uncontroversial provisions and is understood to be well grounded in economic principles that are taken to provide the foundation for competition policy. Upon examination, however, commonly offered views of the law’s conception of agreement prove to be difficult to articulate in an operational manner, at odds with key aspects of legal doctrine and practice, and unrelated to core elements of modern oligopoly theory. This Article explores these and other features of the agreement requirement and suggests the need for a wholesale revision of how competition law should approach the oligopoly problem.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 120

JEL Classification: K21, L41

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Date posted: June 27, 2011 ; Last revised: September 24, 2013

Suggested Citation

Kaplow, Louis, On the Meaning of Horizontal Agreements in Competition Law (May 1, 2011). Harvard Law and Economics Discussion Paper No. 691. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1873430 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1873430

Contact Information

Louis Kaplow (Contact Author)
Harvard Law School ( email )
1575 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
617-495-4101 (Phone)
617-496-4880 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/facdir.php?id=32&show=bibliography
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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