Cartels Costly for Customers

10 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2017

See all articles by John M. Connor

John M. Connor

Purdue University; American Antitrust Institute (AAI)

Date Written: June 18, 2017


This paper describes some major trends in cartelization of markets worldwide with a special emphasis on the economic injuries being generated by illegal collusion. Known affected commerce by international cartels discovered during 1990-2014 exceeds a nominal $13.6 trillion worldwide. Projections to adjust for unknown affected commerce raise the total to the $64 to $189 trillion range. Overcharges cause price-fixing injuries in the $12 to $37 trillion range. Global antitrust fines announced for discovered international cartels were less than 1% of the economic injuries sustained.

Keywords: cartels, collusion, affected sales, overcharges, antitrust

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

Suggested Citation

Connor, John M. and Connor, John M., Cartels Costly for Customers (June 18, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

John M. Connor (Contact Author)

American Antitrust Institute (AAI) ( email )

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Purdue University ( email )

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