The Morality of Cartel Activity

Forthcoming in P Whelan (ed), Research Handbook on Cartels (Edward Elgar 2021)

15 Pages Posted: 12 Aug 2021

See all articles by Andreas Stephan

Andreas Stephan

University of East Anglia (UEA) - Centre for Competition Policy

Date Written: August 10, 2021

Abstract

This chapter examines the extent to which cartel activity is morally wrongful and the resultant implications for cartel law more generally. It argues that while the focus of morality lies mainly in the question of whether cartel behaviour should be treated as crime, it is actually important to the legitimacy of all cartel enforcement because it is punitive and not regulatory in nature. It also speaks to the extent to which individuals are willing to comply with cartel law and report it to an employer or competition authority. The chapter then goes on to ask the extent to which cartels are considered morally wrongful. It is argued that as a fluid concept, what determines morally offensive cartel conduct is various pull factors, that make it more likely cartel conduct will attract moral opprobrium, and push factors that have the opposite effect. These help us identify the types of cartel conduct that are most likely to be considered morally offensive, and the potential policy tools for strengthening the moral opprobrium associated with cartel behaviour more generally.

Keywords: Competition Law, Antitrust, Cartels, Morality, Compliance

JEL Classification: K21, G34

Suggested Citation

Stephan, Andreas, The Morality of Cartel Activity (August 10, 2021). Forthcoming in P Whelan (ed), Research Handbook on Cartels (Edward Elgar 2021), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3902608

Andreas Stephan (Contact Author)

University of East Anglia (UEA) - Centre for Competition Policy ( email )

UEA
Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR4 7TJ
United Kingdom

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