Deterrence, Recidivism and European Cartel Fines

Cento Veljanovski

Case Associates; Institute of Economic Affairs

July 14, 2011

Based on an analysis of cartel prosecutions since 2007, this article assesses the way the European Commission has built up its fines in practice. The fines are compared with those imposed by the European Commission over the period from 1999 to 2006. The main findings are that, while fines have increased significantly, this trend is due not to harsher fines but to less generous reductions under the Commission's leniency program. In some areas, the European Commission has not followed its own guidelines - fines are generally lower than set out, the way recidivism is penalized is incoherent, and many aspects of the fining process are unexplained or redacted. Estimated fine-to-sales ratios together with new research on overcharges and detection rates suggest that fines may be closer to those for optimal deterrence than previously thought.

A subtantially revsied verion of the paper is published in the Journal of Competition Law and Economics, November 2011.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 22

Keywords: price-fixing, cartel, fines, recidivism, leniency, deterrence

JEL Classification: D4, K0, K21, L1, L4, L11, L12, L13, K14, L41, L44, N60

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Date posted: February 12, 2011 ; Last revised: November 21, 2011

Suggested Citation

Veljanovski, Cento, Deterrence, Recidivism and European Cartel Fines (July 14, 2011). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1758639 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1758639

Contact Information

Cento Veljanovski (Contact Author)
Case Associates ( email )
96 Kensington High Street
London, W8 4SG
United Kingdom
+44 (0)20 73764418 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.casecon.com
Institute of Economic Affairs
2 Lord North Street, Westminster
London, SW1P 3LB
United Kingdom
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