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The Rise of Anti-Cartel Enforcement in Africa, Asia, and Latin America

 |  January 14, 2016

Posted by Social Science Research Network

The Rise of Anti-Cartel Enforcement in Africa, Asia, and Latin America

John M. Connor (Purdue University)

Abstract:     This paper examines the rise of cartel enforcement in Europe, North America, and the Rest of the World (ROW) over the past 25 years in greater detail and with more indicators than previous publications. I find that in the past decade the ROW antitrust authorities have made extraordinarily rapid progress in punishing international price-fixing.

The growing share of global fines imposed on cartels by authorities in Africa, Asia, and Latin America (the “ROW”) shows no signs of slowing down. Japan, and most of the Asian Tigers seem increasingly able and willing to impose record fines on cartels. In Latin America, Brazil, Mexico, and Chile are in the vanguard of the anti-cartel bandwagon. Except for South Africa, Israel, and a handful of other small authorities, African and West Asian nations by and large have failed to make the important leap into dealing with international cartels. In the past 15 years, the DOJ has accounted for less than 20% of cartel fines. Moreover, despite spectacular cartel fines, the EC itself has been supplanted by the EU’s NCAs and the ROW authorities.

Building in part on legal innovations made by the DOJ and EC, many of these newer authorities are close to matching the effectiveness of the two crucibles of anti-cartel enforcement. In a sense, in the past decade, the last geographic piece of the cartel-enforcement puzzle is now in place. With cartel detection and penalization very largely globalized now, deterrence of global cartels has marginally improved.