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Legal and illegal cartels in Europe

Competition Focus

Economists and policy analysts know very little about the conditions under which cartels are formed in different legal environments, how they behave against outsiders, how they behave against deviating insiders, and how they react to changes in the economic environment. This event will provide a space to discuss these aspects, based on two projects funded by SEEK.

One of the projects studies cartel organization – a topic on which there is little information to date – through the lens of legal cartels. While such cartels did not have to fear detection and prosecution, they faced the same internal organizational challenges as illegal cartels. The focus is on comparing empirically, in specific sectors, the organizational forms of legal cartels in countries with different legal regimes. The project has collected data on Austrian, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish and American legal cartels.

The other project has developed new theoretical insight into the anatomy of hard-core cartels and combined it with a rich data set on the recent German cement cartel. The results of this project will be presented to the audience attending the event. The private data set comprises about 340.000 market transactions from 36 customers of German cement producers and encompasses most of the period during which the cartel was functioning, as well as a period after the collapse of the cartel.

This event is jointly organised by SEEK.


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11.30 -11.45: Welcome speech by Reinhilde Veugelers, Bruegel

11.45 – 12.15: Legal Cartels in Europe – A Historical Episode?

  • David Genesove, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

12.15 – 12.45: Legal Cartels in Europe – A Cross National Comparison

  • Otto Toivanen, KUL Leuven Belgium
  • Konrad Stahl, University of Mannheim, Germany

12.45 – 13.00: Coffee Break

13.00 – 13.30: Illegal Cartels in Europe - the case of the German cement cartel

  • Kai Hüschelrath, MaCCI, ZEW, and University of Mannheim

13.30 – 14.00: General Discussion

14.00 - 14.30: Lunch

Please note that this event will be held under the Chatham House Rule.