The Private International Cartels (PIC) Data Set: Guide and Summary Statistics, 1990-2013

37 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2014

See all articles by John M. Connor

John M. Connor

American Antitrust Institute (AAI); Purdue University

Date Written: August 9, 2014


This paper describes the sources and methods used to create the PIC data set, which the author believes to be the largest collection of legal-economic information on contemporary price-fixing cartels. It details the scope, strengths, and limitations of the data therein. Moreover, summary descriptive statistics are shown for the years 1990-2013. A few highlights of those statistics are:

•In the past four years 70 new cartels were uncovered each year, a record. •Of the 1014 suspected cartels, 717 were convicted; 217 await a decision. •Relative to GDP, cartelization in Europe is triple the rate than in North America. •Nominal affected sales total $1.5 to $1.7 trillion; global cartels average $10 billion. •However, the size of European cartels is much smaller than other regions. •More than 34,000 companies (7,238 named) are liable for international price fixing. •77% of corporate cartelists are from Europe of North America. •863 persons were indicted or sanctioned, 8 per cartel and 2 per employer. •Prison sentences imposed total 400 years. •Gross cartel overcharges exceed $1.6 trillion, of which global cartels were 60%. •Monetary penalties reached $123 billion: 0.8% of sales and less than 5% of overcharges.

Keywords: cartel, price fixing, collusion, penalties, injuries, antitrust

JEL Classification: K21, L13, L41, L44

Suggested Citation

Connor, John M. and Connor, John M., The Private International Cartels (PIC) Data Set: Guide and Summary Statistics, 1990-2013 (August 9, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

John M. Connor (Contact Author)

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