Cartel behaviour and efficient sanctioning by criminal sentences

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Hardcore cartels risk receiving both administrative fines from the cartel authority and civil law claims for damages. There is a legal policy discussion that cartelist should also face criminal law consequences. Penalties must be at least as high as expected benefits to deter crimes. Sanctions by the German cartel office might indicate information on the profits We calculate the minimum level of fines required to deter cartel infringement for each case, and compare the figures to the actual penalties. The calculated minimum penalties would result in a considerable increase in fines, which would have to be covered either by compensation payments, or criminal sanctions. If custodial sentences were based on the probability of zero compensation payments, and the monetary loss of benefit, the result would sometimes equal an impractically long criminal sentence. It would be more effective to raise administrative sanctions to a sufficient level, especially against individuals.
Translated title of the contributionKartellverhalten und effiziente Sanktionierung durch strafrechtliche Verurteilungen
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Competition Journal
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)309-352
Number of pages44
Publication statusPublished - 03.2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

    Research areas

  • Economics - hard-core-cartels, deterrence, criminal penalty