Hear No Evil, See No Evil: Why Antitrust Compliance Programmes May Be Ineffective at Preventing Cartels

SEE NO EVIL: CARTELS AND THE LIMITS OF ANTITRUST COMPLIANCE PROGRAMS', Vol. 31, pp. 231-239, The Company Lawyer

ESRC CCP Working Paper No. 09-09

16 Pages Posted: 12 Jul 2009 Last revised: 17 Jun 2011

See all articles by Andreas Stephan

Andreas Stephan

University of East Anglia (UEA) - Centre for Competition Policy

Date Written: July 10, 2009

Abstract

Cartel practices attract enormous corporate fines, even where they only involve a handful of employees. Internal compliance programmes are thought to protect firms by training employees and auditing their activities. However, this paper argues that such programmes are ineffective because cartelists typically know what they are doing is illegal, go to great lengths to avoid detection and are usually senior managers. Moreover, compliance programmes do not mitigate cartel fines, despite their being imposed on the whole corporation years after an infringement has occurred. It is argued that the threat of criminal sanctions against individuals is essential to effective internal compliance.

Keywords: Competition Law, Antitrust Compliance, Cartels, Article 81

JEL Classification: K14, K21, L40, L41

Suggested Citation

Stephan, Andreas, Hear No Evil, See No Evil: Why Antitrust Compliance Programmes May Be Ineffective at Preventing Cartels (July 10, 2009). ESRC CCP Working Paper No. 09-09 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1432340 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1432340

Andreas Stephan (Contact Author)

University of East Anglia (UEA) - Centre for Competition Policy ( email )

UEA
Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

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