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Policy Brief

Do European Union fines deter price-fixing?

The issue: Anti-cartel enforcement is the least controversial of competition policy themes. Agreements to restrict competition such as price fixing or market sharing have obvious negative effects on welfare.

By: Date: May 21, 2013 Topic: Digital economy and innovation

The issue: Anti-cartel enforcement is the least controversial of competition policy themes. Agreements to restrict competition such as price fixing or market sharing have obvious negative effects on welfare. Within the European Union, however, industry representatives have increasingly voiced concern that the European Commission applies a too-strict fining policy to enforce anti-cartel law, particularly since the introduction of new guidelines on fines in 2006. Fines are said to be too high, disproportionate and liable to introduce distortions into the market, ultimately leading to higher prices for consumers. It is often argued that more lenient approaches should be followed in crisis times.

Policy challenge: High fines for cartel activity could entail costs for society and might be difficult to implement. Nevertheless, there is no case for reducing current levels of EU anti-cartel fines. Fine levels already take the economic crisis into account, and the net present value of fines might prove to be too low to discourage collusion. We estimate that fines might even be not high enough to offset the additional profits yielded by collusion. Fines should be complemented with other measures to increase deterrence, in particular personal sanctions targeting company officers who are responsible for leading the company to commit infringements. In the short term, pressure on decision makers could be increased by reducing the expected duration of investigations.

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Podcast

Podcast

COP26: global stocktake and what’s next

What happened and what didn’t happen at COP26?

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Green economy Date: November 25, 2021
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Upcoming Event

Nov
29
12:30

Role of innovation in decarbonisation

A fireside conversation with Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi on decarbonisation.

Speakers: Claudio Descalzi and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Green economy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
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Past Event

Past Event

COP26: global stocktake and what’s next

In this episode of the Sound of Economics Live, join us as we contribute to the global stocktake of the climate summit, to foster a clearer understanding of the game changers and the missed opportunities.

Speakers: Li Shuo, Diederik Samsom, Simone Tagliapietra and Laurence Tubiana Topic: Green economy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels Date: November 25, 2021
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Upcoming Event

Dec
1
14:00

China’s medium term outlook: Will innovation save China from becoming old before it becomes rich?

What can China do to stop the deceleration of its economy. Is innovation the solution?

Speakers: Jean-Francois Di Meglio, Alicia García-Herrero and Guntram B. Wolff Topic: Digital economy and innovation, Global economy and trade
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Podcast

Podcast

Technology: a product of unequal power?

The effects of digital technology on work and wages.

By: The Sound of Economics Topic: Digital economy and innovation, Inclusive growth Date: November 24, 2021
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Upcoming Event

Dec
2
09:30

European Green Deal beyond the Brussels climate bubble

How can the European Green Deal be implemented beyond Brussels?

Speakers: Maciej Bukowski, Zsolt Darvas, Susi Dennison, Michal Horvath, Lara Lázaro, Michael Losch, Giulia Novati, Davide Panzeri, Thomas Pellerin-Carlin, Nolan Theisen, Marc Vanheukelen and Georg Zachmann Topic: Green economy Location: Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels
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Upcoming Event

Dec
7-8
13:00

Future of work and inclusive growth: Annual conference

The inaugural conference of the the project Future of Work and Inclusive Growth in Europe.

Speakers: Janine Berg, Arturo Franco, Stijn Broecke, Esther Lynch, Mario Mariniello, Laura Nurski, Sharon Parker, Leah Ruppanner, Nicolas Schmit, Kim Van Sparrentak and Tilman Tacke Topic: Digital economy and innovation, Inclusive growth
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External Publication

European Parliament

Decarbonisation of energy

Determining a robust mix of energy carriers for a carbon-neutral EU

By: Ben McWilliams, Georg Zachmann, Franziska Holz, Alexander Roth, Robin Sogalla, Frank Meissner and Claudia Kemfert Topic: European Parliament, Green economy, Testimonies Date: November 22, 2021
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Past Event

Past Event

Covid recovery and the green transition: What can promotional banks do?

What is the role of promotional banks in financing the green transition?

Speakers: Sophie Barbier, Maria Demertzis, Ricardo Mourinho and Lucinio Muñoz Topic: Green economy Date: November 18, 2021
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Blog Post

Goodbye Glasgow: what’s next for global climate action?

After COP26, and as the debate on whether Glasgow represents a success or a failure dies down, what next for global climate action?

By: Klaas Lenaerts and Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Green economy Date: November 18, 2021
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Policy Contribution

Biometric technologies at work: a proposed use-based taxonomy

Technology may not have a significant negative impact on the quantity of jobs available to humans, but it certainly transforms them, changing how jobs are performed, with implications for workers’ quality of life and for productivity. Hence the focus shifts from a quantitative to a qualitative perspective.

By: Mario Mariniello and Mia Hoffmann Topic: Digital economy and innovation Date: November 17, 2021
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Opinion

Glasgow: a clearer sense of direction but with no hard numbers

Global climate action is visibly accelerating however the conference failed to deliver on the hard numbers.

By: Simone Tagliapietra Topic: Green economy Date: November 15, 2021
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