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Briefing Room: Cartel Detection And The Use Of Screens To Uncover Price Conspiracies

Introduction

The use of screens has been integral in cartel detection, but also has a very meaningful place in cartel prevention and defense. This briefing room starts by reviewing the way screens, as well as other detection tools, are used in practice to uncover pricing conspiracies and to determine whether collusion is present in a specific market. Leading off this discussion in the form of an engaging webinar series was a panel of knowledgeable experts widely recognized as the premier thought leaders in the subject. This first webinar, held on May 22nd, was a nuanced overview of cartel detection headlined by guest editor Rosa Abrantes-Metz (GlobalEcon, NYU Stern School of Business), Antonio Capobianco (OECD), Carlos Mena-Labarthe (Federal Competition Commission of Mexico), and Carlos Ragazzo (Administrative Council for Economic Defense, Brazil). It was moderated by David S. Evans (GlobalEcon, University of Chicago Law School).

We then turned our focus to a robust webinar discussion on the value of screens in cartel prevention and the creative usage of screens on the defense side. This second webinar, held a week after the first on May 28th, featured guest editor Rosa Abrantes-Metz (GlobalEcon, NYU Stern School of Business), Kai Huschelrath (ZEW), Donald C. Klawiter (Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP), Danny Sokol (Levin College of Law at the University of Florida). This was also moderated by David S. Evans (GlobalEcon, University of Chicago Law School).

Background Information From Our Experts

The Lessons from LIBOR for Detection and Deterrence of Cartel Wrongdoing

by Rosa Abrantes-Metz (NYU Stern School of Business) and Daniel Sokol (University of Florida Levin College of Law). An examination of the fallout from the LIBOR scandal and the key takeaways as it relates to cartels.

Conspiracy Screens: Practical Defense Perspectives

by Donald Klawiter (Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP). A cornerstone paper on how screens provide an additional and complementary tool that fits perfect into the leniency paradigm, enhancing detection and punishment around the globe.

Beyond Detection: The Management of Cartel Cases

by Carlos Ragazzo (CADE) and Diogo Thomson de Andrade (CADE). This paper gives insight into the management of cartel cases from the perspective of Brazil’s Competition Authority.

Mexican Experience in Screens for Bid-Rigging

by Carlos Mena-Labarthe (Federal Competition Commission of Mexico). In Mexico, as in other parts of the world, leniency is regarded as one of the most important and useful tools for the detection and prosecution of cartels.

The Adoption of Screening Tools by Competition Authorities

by Ulrich Laitenberger (ZEW) and Kai Huschelrath (ZEW). From an economic perspective, the fight against hardcore cartels is justified by the clearly negative welfare implications of such “agreements among competitiors”. So what are the general options Competition Authorities can use to detect cartels?

Collusion and Unilateral Price Announcements

by Antonio Capobianco (OECD). Greater transparency in the market is generally a factor that enhances efficiency and, as such, it is welcome by competition agencies. However, market transparency can also produce anticompetitive effects by facilitating collusion or providing firms with focal points around which to align tacitly their behavior.

This briefing room is brought to you by:

Leading Author

She is a principal in the antitrust, securities and financial regulation practices of Global Economics Group and an Adjunct Associate Professor at NYU’s Stern School of Business. She is the author of several articles on econometric methods and screens and flagged the LIBOR conspiracy in 2008. Her work is regularly featured in the media.
He is responsible for proceedings of the Working Party No. 3 of the OECD Competition Committee, Working Party on International Co-operation and Competition Law Enforcement. In this position, Mr Capobianco was responsible for a series of projects and work streams, including the development of the 2009 Guidelines for Fighting Bid Rigging in Public Procurement.
He is head of the research group “Competition and Regulation” at ZEW (Center for European Economic Research). And Assistant Professor of Industrial Organization and Competitive Strategy at WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallender.
He is a partner at Sheppard Mullin in Washington, DC.. His practice focuses on antitrust investigations and litigation with a special emphasis on international cartel matters. In 2005-2006, he served as Chair of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law. Recently, he served as Co-Chair of the Section of Antitrust Law’s Presidential Transition Report Task Force, which made recommendations to the Antitrust Division and FTC on enforcement policy and procedures.
He is head of cartel investigations at the Federal Competition Commission of Mexico (CFC). Prior to his joining the Mexican competition authority he worked for national and international law firms including Basham, Ringe y Correa; Barrera, Siqueiros y Torres Landa and Haynes and Boone. He teaches Competition Law, Regulation and Public Policy at graduate and postgraduate level at ITAM.
He is General Superintendent of Brazil’s competition authority, CADE. Before joining CADE he was a Lawyer for Pinheiro Net Avogados and worked as a trainee at the US’s FTC. He was general coordinator of antitrust at the Secretariat of Economic Monitoring in the Ministry of Finance. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Antitrust Law in Rio de Janeiro at Gertulio Vargas.
He is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Florida Levin College of Law and a Senior Research Fellow at the George Washington University Law School Competition Law Center. He is co-editor of the Global Competition Law and Economics book series and of the Oxford Handbook of International Antitrust Economics, and is editor of the Antitrust and Competition Policy Blog.
He is Chairman of Global Economics Group and Lecturer, University of Chicago Law School. Evans is the co-author with Professor Abrantes-Metz of a widely discussed proposal for replacing LIBOR.

The Basics of Screens

Screens in Defense, Governance and Compliance

Screens In Detection, Brazilian and Mexican Experiences

Other