Guiding principles in setting cartel sanctions

Concurrences Review, No. 3, September 2019

Analysis Group Vice President Anne Catherine Faye and affiliated expert Dr. Marcel Boyer, along with two other coauthors, have published “Guiding principles in setting cartel sanctions” in the competition law review Concurrences Review (No. 3-2019). The paper discusses challenges and pitfalls faced by antitrust authorities in determining sanctions against cartels, in particular in assessing the probability of detection and conviction, modeling cartel dynamics, identifying the relevant cartel duration, and estimating but-for prices and cartel overcharges.

The authors show that both the harm caused by cartels – or the illicit profits gained – and the probability of detection are difficult to measure accurately, which may lead to errors in the assessment of fines. They also show that the modeling of cartel dynamics has significant implications for the level of deterrent fines.

The article is based on the authors’ detailed analysis originally published in a Canadian Competition Law Review article titled “Challenges and Pitfalls in Cartel Fining.”

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Boyer M, Faye AC, Gravel E, Kotchoni R