Global Cartels Redux: The Amino Acid Lysine Antitrust Litigation 1996

37 Pages Posted: 28 May 2009

See all articles by John M. Connor

John M. Connor

American Antitrust Institute (AAI); Purdue University

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 21, 2009


This paper tells the story of the global lysine cartel of 1992-1995 and the subsequent U.S. federal prosecutions that followed. It focuses on how estimates of the cartel’s U.S. overcharges varied widely in the months prior to settlement with most of the smaller members of the class of plaintiffs and how additional data gathering and improved analytical techniques later arrived at a more accurate estimate of injuries to direct buyers. The detection and convictions of the lysine cartel in 1995-98 was the first criminal victory over an international cartel by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice in more than 40 years. They signaled a watershed in the anti-cartel campaigns of governments and private plaintiffs worldwide in the years since.

Keywords: cartel, antitrust, damages, collusion, lysine, international

JEL Classification: L41, L44, L65, L11, L13, N60, K21, K14

Suggested Citation

Connor, John M. and Connor, John M., Global Cartels Redux: The Amino Acid Lysine Antitrust Litigation 1996 (May 21, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

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