Dr Peter Whelan publishes article on cartel criminalisation and due process in the Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly

Dr Peter Whelan (CCP and UEA Law School) has had his article, ‘Cartel Criminalisation and Due Process: the Challenge of Imposing Criminal Sanctions Alongside Administrative Sanctions within the EU’, published in the latest edition of Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly. An abstract of his article can be found below.

Abstract

There is increasing debate within the EU concerning the imposition of criminal sanctions upon those individuals who engage in cartel activity. For it to be legitimate, such cartel criminalisation must respect the due process guarantees contained in the European Convention on Human Rights. Unfortunately the literature on this issue is deficient and the specifics of this legal challenge are not fully understood. In particular, a comprehensive analysis of the due process-related challenge presented when personal criminal antitrust sanctions are employed alongside administrative sanctions for a given cartel is conspicuously absent from the literature. This article rectifies this deficiency by examining this particular legal challenge and its relevance to information exchange, double jeopardy and concurrent antitrust proceedings. In doing so, it identifies practical techniques designed to meet the challenge of due process in this context, as well as the inherent tensions between due process and the objectives of European antitrust criminalisation.

Peter Whelan, ‘Cartel Criminalisation and Due Process: the Challenge of Imposing Criminal Sanctions Alongside Administrative Sanctions within the EU’ (2013) 64(2) Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly 143.

Anti-trust and the Beckerian Principle: the Effects of Investigation and Fines on Cartels

This Spring seminar series concludes in style on Friday 12th July as our very own Frederick Wandschneider (CCP and ECO) presents his latest research on ‘Anti-trust and the Beckerian Principle: the Effects of Investigation and Fines on Cartels‘ which he has undertaken alongside Subhasish Modak Chowdhury. An abstract for his seminar can be found below.

Abstract

In order to deter collusion and punish wrongdoers, antitrust authorities employ different combinations of ‘magnitude of fine’ and ‘likelihood of detection’. According to Becker (1968) these tools are substitutable. Since detection depends on costly investigation, it is optimal to minimize detection efforts and impose high fines. Recently the UK Office of Fair Trading followed this proposition and increased the maximum fine that it can impose on a colluding firm from 10% to 30% of its relevant turnover. It is not known, however, from a behavioral perspective how effective this type of policy design would be in a market. We address this issue through a market experiment to study the effects of magnitude and likelihood of fines on cartel activity, prices and collusive stability. We find support for the Beckerian principle only when leniency is not present. In the presence of a leniency program, however, a regime encompassing low detection rates and high fines is even more desirable as this reduces the propensity to collude and lowers the overall incidence of cartelized markets. It also achieves higher consumer welfare and triggers price defections.

CCP academic profiles: Frederick Wandschneider; Subhasish Modak Chowdhury

The CCP seminar series will return in Autumn 2013 with a new line-up of presenters from a variety of disciplines. The Autumn programme will be available to download from our CCP seminar page in the coming weeks and you can also revisit previous seminar series by following the relevant links.