Serial Collusion by Multi-Product Firms

68 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2018 Last revised: 21 Oct 2018

See all articles by William E. Kovacic

William E. Kovacic

George Washington University - Law School; King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law

Robert C. Marshall

Pennsylvania State University, College of the Liberal Arts - Department of Economic

Michael J. Meurer

Boston University - School of Law

Date Written: August 13, 2018

Abstract

We provide empirical evidence that many multi-product firms have each participated in several cartels over the past 50 years. Standard analysis of cartel conduct, as well as enforcement policy, is rooted in the presumption that each cartel in which a given firm participates is a singular activity, independent of other cartel conduct by the firm. We argue that this analysis is deficient in many respects in the face of serial collusion by multi-product firms. We offer policy recommendations to reign in serial collusion, including a mandatory coordinated effects review for any merger involving a serial colluder, regardless of the apparent nature of the merger.

Keywords: Collusion, antitrust, multi-market contact, leniency, price-fixing

JEL Classification: K21, L13, L41, L44

Suggested Citation

Kovacic, William E. and Marshall, Robert C. and Meurer, Michael J., Serial Collusion by Multi-Product Firms (August 13, 2018). Boston Univ. School of Law, Law and Economics Research Paper No. 18-18; King's College London Law School Research Paper No. 2018-28. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3235398 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3235398

William E. Kovacic

George Washington University - Law School ( email )

2000 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20052
United States
202.994.8123 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.gwu.edu/faculty/profile.aspx?id=1731

King's College London – The Dickson Poon School of Law

Somerset House East Wing
Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

Robert C. Marshall

Pennsylvania State University, College of the Liberal Arts - Department of Economic ( email )

524 Kern Graduate Building
University Park, PA 16802-3306
United States
814-865-0030 (Phone)
814-865-0013 (Fax)

Michael J. Meurer (Contact Author)

Boston University - School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-353-6292 (Phone)
617-353-3077 (Fax)

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