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Commitments in Antitrust

Philippe Choné, Saïd Souam () and Arnold Vialfont

No 2012-9, EconomiX Working Papers from University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX

Abstract: Competition agencies have the power to close an antitrust case in return for the commitment to end the alleged infringement. We examine how such a procedure affects deterrence and consumer welfare. We first show that it lowers the deterrent effect of competition policy. However, under asymmetric information, commitments may enhance consumer surplus with shortened proceedings and avoidance of trial type-II errors. The variation of consumer harm w.r.t. the firm's gain from the practice determines the optimal usage frequency of this negotiation tool. Finally, we show that trial and commitments may be complements as the latter is not always an answer to a lack of efficiency of the agency.

Keywords: Commitments in antitrust; Plea bargaining; Consumer Surplus (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K21 K42 L41 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 26 pages
Date: 2012
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-com, nep-law and nep-reg
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