Doing the Math of Cartels: Unpuzzling Organized Corporate Crimes

By Amanda Athayde (University of Brasilia), Bruna Piazera, João Victor Freitas, Luiz Ros & Priscila Craveiro (Silva Matos Advogados)

To assess whether one or more cartel violations have taken place in real life investigations is not an easy task. Are there any parameters to determine whether collusive behaviors are multiple or single infringements, when those organized corporate crimes seem intertwined like a puzzle? Based on the international literature and on a review of the experience of the United States and of the European Union, this paper aims to scrutinize the ten parameters developed by some scholars to unpuzzle those organized corporate crimes. The “Car Wash Operation”, which uncovered a large corruption and cartel scheme in Brazil, is a live example of difficulty to understand if the investigation concerns one single cartel or multiple separate cartels. By an empirical analysis of all public proceedings related to the Car Wash Operation at the Antitrust Authority in Brazil, it will be possible to understand if the ten parameters developed by the scholars were fulfilled or not in real life investigations.

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