Umbrella Effects

Roman Inderst

University of Frankfurt; Imperial College London

Frank P. Maier-Rigaud

IESEG School of Management (LEM-CNRS), Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods; NERA Economic Consulting

Ulrich Schwalbe

University of Hohenheim

July 23, 2013

Forthcoming, Journal of Competition Law and Economics 2014 [Nominated for the 2014 Concurrences Antitrust Awards]

We analyse the key determinants of umbrella effects, which arise when the price increase or quantity reduction of a cartel diverts demand to substitute products. Umbrella effects arise irrespective of whether non cartelists act as price takers (“competitive fringe”) or respond strategically to the increased demand. Sizable umbrella effects can also arise when non-cartelists are outside the relevant market (in the sense of a SSNIP test), provided that the cartel’s price increase is substantial. Further, a shift of demand to non-cartelists, triggering a price increase, can be induced also when their purchasers themselves benefit from higher demand as rivals purchase from the cartel and pass-on the respective price increase. To identify the actual damage it is thus key to take into account the overall adjustments among cartel members and outsiders as well as their respective, potentially competing purchasers. We also discuss how future analysis of the endogenous formation of cartels with partial market coverage should inform theories of the determinants of umbrella effects.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 15

Keywords: umbrella effect, partial cartel, pass-on, cartel effect, quantification of damages, merger effects, private enforcement, standing, market definition, cellophane fallacy, antitrust

JEL Classification: K21, L13, L41

Accepted Paper Series

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Date posted: July 25, 2013 ; Last revised: April 30, 2014

Suggested Citation

Inderst, Roman and Maier-Rigaud, Frank P. and Schwalbe, Ulrich, Umbrella Effects (July 23, 2013). Forthcoming, Journal of Competition Law and Economics 2014 [Nominated for the 2014 Concurrences Antitrust Awards]. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2297399 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2297399

Contact Information

Roman Inderst
University of Frankfurt ( email )
Grüneburgplatz 1 (H11)
Frankfurt am Main, DE 60323
+49 (69) 798-34023 (Phone)
+49 (69) 798-33912 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.finance.uni-frankfurt.de/inderst/index.php?lg=1&men=2&case=prof
Imperial College London ( email )
South Kensington Campus
London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom
Frank P. Maier-Rigaud (Contact Author)
IESEG School of Management (LEM-CNRS), Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods ( email )
Socle de la Grande Arche
1 Parvis de la Défense
Paris, La Défense Cedex, 92044
NERA Economic Consulting ( email )
1166 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10036
United States
Ulrich Schwalbe
University of Hohenheim ( email )
Schloss Hohenheim
Stuttgart, 70593
+49 (0)711 45922992 (Phone)
Feedback to SSRN

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