Effective Cartel Enforcement in Europe

39 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2006 Last revised: 30 Mar 2011

See all articles by Maarten Pieter Schinkel

Maarten Pieter Schinkel

University of Amsterdam - Department of Economics; Tinbergen Institute

Date Written: January 2007


The European Commission has made transparent in a number of recent publications that undertakings that colluded to fix prices or share markets can expect fines based on affected commerce as well as private antitrust damage claims. Research on discovered cartels characterizes modern international cartels in terms of illegal gains, duration of the infringement and success on appeal. This paper offers a back-of-the-envelope calculation into the net effective (expected) liability of a representative modern international cartel. The exercise reveals that the Commission's recent commitments to punish cartels are likely to remain insufficient to deter collusion, unless European cartel enforcement produces a high (perceived) probability of discovery across the board. This calls for broad, unbiased, random and active cartel detection.

Keywords: cartels, enforcement, Europe, fines, antitrust damages

JEL Classification: K42, L41, D43

Suggested Citation

Schinkel, Maarten Pieter, Effective Cartel Enforcement in Europe (January 2007). World Competition: Law and Economics Review, Vol. 30, pp. 539-572, 2007, Amsterdam Center for Law & Economics Working Paper No. 2006-14, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=948641 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.948641

Maarten Pieter Schinkel (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

Roetersstraat 11
1018 WB Amsterdam
+31 20 525 7132 (Phone)
+31 20 525 5318 (Fax)

Tinbergen Institute ( email )

Gustav Mahlerplein 117
Amsterdam, 1082 MS

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