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Cartel screening is for companies, law firms, and economic consultancies, not just competition authorities

3.11.2021
Joseph E. Harrington, Jr. Patrick T. Harker Professor, Department of Business Economics & Public Policy The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania https://joeharrington5201922.github.io harrij@wharton.upenn.edu

Cartel screening is a method for detecting cartels using market data. Commonly used by competition authorities, the author proposes that cartel screening be performed by companies, law firms, and economic consultancies. Using easily available data and simple empirical methods, cartel screening is a cost-effective mechanism for discovering cartels and thereby reducing a company’s future prices and allowing recovery of damages for past overcharges.

El monitoreo de carteles (screening) es un método para la detección de carteles a partir de datos de mercado. Aunque es comúnmente utilizado por las autoridades de competencia, el autor propone que el screening de carteles sea efectuado también por compañías, firmas legales y consultoras económicas. Usando datos fácilmente disponibles y métodos empíricos sencillos, el screening de carteles es un mecanismo costo-efectivo para descubrir carteles y, por lo tanto, reducir los precios futuros de una compañía y permitir la recuperación de perjuicios por sobreprecios pasados.

“In this manner, private and public enforcement can work together: a company screens to detect a cartel and then, upon reporting it, the competition authority investigates and prosecutes. It is useful to note that screening and leniency programs work together to advance enforcement.”

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