The Rise and (Potential) Fall of U.S. Cartel Enforcement

30 Pages Posted:  

Vivek Ghosal

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research (CESifo)

D. Daniel Sokol

University of Florida - Levin College of Law; George Washington University Law School Competition Law Center

Date Written: April 14, 2018

Abstract

Government enforcement against collusion, now viewed by the Supreme Court as the “supreme evil” in antitrust, has gone through various phases of enforcement. There have been periods in which cartels have been able to collude more or less effectively given various institutional tools at the disposal of the government. This article measures the attributes of cartel enforcement over time and the changing use of tools to assist with detection and punishment. First, in Section 1 we provide an overview of cartel enforcement. In Section 2, we provide a background of the intellectual context for cartel enforcement. Next, in Section 3, we provide descriptive analysis of critical cartel enforcement events and institutional developments from 1890 to the present. Thereafter, we describe the data and intertemporal patterns in cartel enforcement in Section 4. In Section 5 we develop the empirical specification and present the estimation results. In Section 6 we discuss whether there has been a potential decline in cartel enforcement in the U.S., given our data and findings. Next, in Section 7, we briefly compare some key data between U.S. and European Commission cartel prosecutions to examine potential dynamic interlinkages. Finally, we offer concluding remarks in Section 8.

Keywords: collusion, price-fixing, cartels, antitrust, enforcement, prosecution, leniency, fines, incarceration, politics, ACPERA, Antitrust Amendments Act

JEL Classification: K21, L41, L13, L11

Suggested Citation

Ghosal, Vivek and Sokol, D. Daniel, The Rise and (Potential) Fall of U.S. Cartel Enforcement (April 14, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=

Vivek Ghosal

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ( email )

110 8th Street
Troy, NY 12180
United States
518-276-3868 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.economics.rpi.edu/pl/people/ghosal

Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute for Economic Research (CESifo)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.cesifo.de

D. Daniel Sokol (Contact Author)

University of Florida - Levin College of Law ( email )

Spessard L. Holland Law Center
P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States
(352) 273-0968 (Phone)
(352) 392-3005 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.ufl.edu/faculty/d-daniel-sokol

George Washington University Law School Competition Law Center ( email )

200 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20052
United States

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