The Determination of Optimal Fines in Cartel Cases: Theory and Practice
Concurrences, No. 4, pp. 32-40, 2011
10 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2011
Date Written: December 2011
The determination of optimal fines to deter the formation or continuation of cartels is a major objective of competition policy. Several recent publications have suggested that the recent fines imposed by the European Commission are too low to be dissuasive and should therefore be substantially increased. In this paper, we question the economic reasoning underlying the models used in those articles as well as the methodology used in their application. Further, we propose a more adequate dynamic framework to assess the role of fines in deterring cartels and define a dissuasive benchmark level, from which we come to the conclusion that on average recent fines are adequately dissuasive.
Keywords: European Commission, Competition Policy, Cartels, Fines, Deterrence, Determination of optimal fines
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