The Private International Cartels (PIC) Data Set: Guide and Summary Statistics, 1990-July 2016 (Revised 2nd Edition)

50 Pages Posted: 11 Aug 2016

See all articles by John M. Connor

John M. Connor

American Antitrust Institute (AAI); Purdue University

Date Written: August 9, 2016


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 developed for the 1990-2016. A few highlights of those statistics are: In the past six years 75 new cartels were uncovered each year, a record; Of the 1336 suspected cartels, 953 were convicted; 296 await a decision; After international cartels are investigated, 96% are convicted; Nominal affected sales exceed $50 trillion; cartels account for 3% to 7% of all revenues; Relative to GDP, cartelization in Europe is triple the rate than in North America; The size of global cartels is the largest, the ROW the smallest; More than 100,000 companies (7,200 named) are liable for international price fixing; 60% of corporate cartelists are headquartered in Western Europe: 533 individuals were sanctioned for international price fixing; Prison sentences imposed total 656 years; Gross cartel overcharges exceed $1.5 trillion, 60% by global cartels; Monetary penalties reached $170 billion: 2.3% of sales and less than 11% 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-July 2016 (Revised 2nd Edition) (August 9, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

John M. Connor (Contact Author)

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