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Cartel Conduct and Antitrust Compliance with Imperfect Information about Enforcement Risk

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This article models antitrust compliance training as a form of information acquisition. It finds that lower fines may benefit consumers by improving the deterrence of cartels: Sales managers who underestimate the severity of antitrust enforcement sometimes establish cartels that are actually unprofitable for their firms. This risk rises if an antitrust authority lowers the sanctions imposed on anticompetitive conduct. Therefore, it is a best response for firms' compliance officers to establish antitrust training programs to mitigate this risk and prevent cartels. Fines must however not be reduced so strongly as to make anticompetitive collusion profitable.
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Keywords: COLLUSION; COMPLIANCE; ENFORCEMENT RISK; IMPERFECT INFORMATION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2018

This article was made available online on 28 July 2017 as a Fast Track article with title: "Cartel Conduct and Antitrust Compliance with Imperfect Information about Enforcement Risk".

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  • Founded as Zeitschrift für die gesamte Staatswissenschaft in 1844.

    As one of the oldest journals in the field of political economy, the Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE) deals traditionally with the problems of economics, social policy, and their legal framework. JITE is listed in the Journal of Economic Literature, the Social Science Citation Index, the International Bibliography of the Social Sciences, and COREJ.

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    From 2013 on all accepted articles are published in an Online First version (in their final layout) to make them searchable and citable by their DOI immediately after peer review and acceptance. Once the article is published in an issue of the journal, the Online First version will be removed.

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