OECD Journal: Competition Law and Policy

  • Discontinued

This journal draws on the best of the recent work done for and by the OECD Committee on Competition Law and Policy. Its articles provide insight into the thinking a competition law enforcers, and focus on the practical application of competition law and policy. Here’s what Robert Pitofsky, Chairman of the US Federal Trade Commission said about this new journal when it was launched: “Global competition is the wave of the future, and comparative analysis of the laws and practices of various members of the worldwide community of nations is a necessary corollary. This new OECD Journal of Competition Law and Policy, compiled from OECD Round Table discussions, summaries of recent developments, and articles on topics of special interest, will introduce regulators, practitioners, and scholars to different regulatory approaches around the world and will allow us to consider in a more informed way the strengths and weaknesses of our own systems.”

Now published as part of the OECD Journal package.

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Cartels: Sanctions against Individuals

Corporate sanctions rarely are sufficiently high to be an optimal deterrent against cartels. Sanctions against natural persons can thus complement them. There is no systematic evidence proving the deterrent effects of sanctions on individuals, and/or assessing whether such sanctions can be justified. There is a trend among countries to accept as self-evident that individual sanctions, including imprisonment, can be a useful part of effective anti-cartel enforcement. If a country provides for individual sanctions, a strong argument can be made that relatively short prison sentences are the most cost effective deterrent. However, there are also reasons why countries may provide for longer prison sentences, most importantly that only longer statutory sentences adequately express a society’s condemnation of hard-core cartels. In addition to increasing levels of deterrence, sanctions against individuals can be a powerful incentive for individuals to reveal information about existing cartels and to cooperate in investigations. International law does not recognise the principle of double jeopardy that would prevent authorities in different countries from prosecuting the same person for participation in the same cartel. Nevertheless, where cartels are investigated in a multi-jurisdictional context, jurisdictions may consider arrangements to ensure that only one of them prosecutes an individual.

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