Enforcing A Cartel Agreement Is

- 07/12/20
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This article examines the stability of cartels based on a qualitative case analysis of 14 Dutch cases. In these cases, the Dutch Competition Authority imposed a fine between October 2007 and January 2012.Footnote 8 These cases were selected because the reports that led to a fine contain substantial evidence, including coordination and communication documents within the agreements. This documentation allowed for a systematic and in-depth study of the structure and type of agreements. The 14 cases were reviewed on the basis of document analyses and semi-structured interviews with case managers from the Consumer and Markets Authority. The sources are official reports of the Authority,Footnote 9 Summary of Records and contains a selection of evidence used in administrative procedures against administrative sanctions imposed on companies. These files contain descriptions of the cartel modus operandi and contain correspondence between their members; transcripts of oral hearings with corporate officials by the competition authority; and sources of the administration of the agreements. These statements are supported by additional written administration. The material was systematically reviewed using a checklist that focused on the type of network; The nature of mutual relationships Mechanisms of mutual control Mechanisms of mutual trust fraud and conflict. In all cases, the documentary analysis was supplemented by a semi-structured interview with the project manager of the investigating authority. These discussions focused on the following topics: the nature of the agreement; mechanisms of mutual control and trust; and cases of fraud and mutual conflict. These interviews were used to provide a better overview of the files and to ask additional questions to which the review of written reports did not provide a complete answer. Some agreements also use independent directors – third-party directors – who are sometimes referred to as “secretaries” of the agreement.

They are often retired executives who are familiar with the market. They deal with practical issues, deal with administration and conduct discussions or negotiations. One of these “secretaries” explained that he had arranged meetings, made reservations for the premises, paid expenses in advance, had taken the minutes of the meetings and recorded the general turnovers. As an independent “fixer,” a secretary often acts not only as an administrator, but also as an informal auditor. It monitors the agreement and plays a role in preventing possible differences of opinion or in mediating in the event of a conflict. The best results are achieved by discouraging companies from creating agreements. Severe sanctions are therefore a fundamental element of an effective policy on cartels and abuse of dominance against fundamental agreements. Sanctions imposed on individuals for their involvement in the conspiracy are an important complement to the funds paid to organizations for cartel behaviour. These sanctions may take the form of significant administrative sanctions or, in some countries, the criminal sanction of detention.

The prospect of detention can be a strong deterrent for businessmen considering a cartel agreement. Before World War II, cartel members could sign contracts that could be implemented in court, except in the United States. Prior to 1945, cartels were tolerated in Europe and promoted specifically as business practices in the German-speaking region. [22] In U.S. v. National Lead Co. et al., the U.S. Supreme Court found statements from individuals who cited that an agreement in its multi-purpose form often practices international price agreements. If the price control agreement is sanctioned by a multilateral treaty or protected by national sovereignty, no measures on cartels and abuses of dominance can be initiated.

[14] OPEC countries partially control the price of oil and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) sets international airfares, while the organization is exempt from the rules

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