Survey of Public Attitudes to Price-Fixing and Cartel Enforcement in Britain

CCP Working Paper No. 07-12

Comp. Law Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 123-145, 2008

31 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2007 Last revised: 18 Dec 2009

Andreas Stephan

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

Date Written: May 1, 2007

Abstract

The paper reports on results from a public survey on attitudes to collusion and cartel enforcement in Britain. Respondents demonstrate an understanding that price-fixing is harmful and should be punished. While there is strong support for high corporate fines and naming and shaming, only 1 in 10 Britons think individuals responsible should be imprisoned. Weak perceptions of the severity of price-fixing are confirmed by only 6 in 10 people considering such practices to be dishonest. Sex and age strongly influence attitudes. Education and newspaper readership have less of an effect, indicating poor information dissemination. Only 20% would report their employer's involvement in price-fixing without guarantees of anonymity and/or a reward: 14% would not report at all for fear of consequences. Public opinion is divided as to whether leniency programmes are justifiable. Respondents consider public enforcement to be more important that compensating parties injured by cartels.

Keywords: Cartels, public survey, enforcement, UK cartel offence, leniency, private enforcement, competition law

JEL Classification: K21, K24, L13, L41

Suggested Citation

Stephan, Andreas, Survey of Public Attitudes to Price-Fixing and Cartel Enforcement in Britain (May 1, 2007). Comp. Law Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 123-145, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=993407 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.993407

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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