Competition Law Enforcement: The Free-Riding Plaintiff and Incentives for the Revelation of Private Information

Centre for Competition Policy Working Paper Series No. 06-9

16 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2006

See all articles by Michael Harker

Michael Harker

Univeristy of East Anglia - Norwich Law School - ESRC Centre for Competition Policy

Morten Hviid

University of East Anglia - Centre for Competition Policy (CCP); University of East Anglia (UEA) - Norwich Law School

Date Written: April 2006

Abstract

The past and current reluctance of firms and individuals to use private enforcement suggests that there are limited incentives for self-help. The key contribution of private enforcement to overall deterrence derives from cases which would not otherwise be brought, not simply because of resource constraints, but also because relevant information would not otherwise have come to light. In terms of revealing such private information, cases initiated and pursued by private litigants add much more to the equation than do cases merely following on from decisions made by competition authorities. In this paper we use a simple model to highlight what features of the private enforcement system promote and hamper the use of these two different types of private enforcement. A key finding is that to encourage new cases, it is essential that private enforcement is quicker than the time it takes to get a decision in a follow-on case.

Keywords: Private enforcement, litigation, deterrence, competition law

JEL Classification: K21, K13, K41

Suggested Citation

Harker, Michael and Hviid, Morten, Competition Law Enforcement: The Free-Riding Plaintiff and Incentives for the Revelation of Private Information (April 2006). Centre for Competition Policy Working Paper Series No. 06-9, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=912180 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.912180

Michael Harker (Contact Author)

Univeristy of East Anglia - Norwich Law School - ESRC Centre for Competition Policy ( email )

Norwich NR4 7TJ, Norfolk
United Kingdom

Morten Hviid

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

UEA
Norwich Research Park
Norwich, Norfolk NR47TJ
United Kingdom

University of East Anglia (UEA) - Norwich Law School ( email )

Norwich NR4 7TJ, Norfolk
United Kingdom

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