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Governments as Cartel Victims

AAI Working Paper No. 09-03

10 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2009  

John M. Connor

American Antitrust Institute (AAI)

Date Written: May 21, 2009


In this note, I assemble simple empirical evidence on the severity of monetary penalties on modern international cartels, focusing on whether there are systematic differences in severity between cases in which the government itself is the victim of overcharging versus cases where the brunt of the economic injuries are borne by businesses and consumers. I find that government-sector fines are significantly higher relative to affected sales when government bid rigging is the principal form of cartel conduct. This pattern is found across nearly all jurisdictions. These findings call into question whether enforcement resources are tilted unwisely towards cases where the government is the victim.

Keywords: government procurement, antitrust, penalties

Suggested Citation

Connor, John M., Governments as Cartel Victims (May 21, 2009). AAI Working Paper No. 09-03. Available at SSRN: or

John M. Connor (Contact Author)

American Antitrust Institute (AAI) ( email )

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Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-536-3408 (Phone)


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