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Megatrend revija
2015, vol. 12, iss. 3, pp. 183-196
article language: English
document type: Review Paper
published on: 24/01/2016
doi: 10.5937/MegRev1503183P
Addressing responsibility of owners and managers in cartel agreements: A competition law perspective
Agencija za zaštitu tržišnog natjecanja Zagreb, Hrvatska


Horizontal agreements between competitors with t h e object/effect of reducing competition between them through market partitioning, bid rigging, production/distribution quantities limitation and price fixing are considered to be the infringements of competition law. Cartel is an agreement under which competitors agree not to compete with each other and presents the most serious form of anticompetitive behaviour. Such arrangements allow companies to exert market power they would not otherwise have by artificially restricting competition with deleterious effect on welfare. Competition authorities around the world continue to declare cartel detection and conviction in competition enforcement as their highest priority. Taking part in cartel can have severe consequences for managers as well for the undertaking. In some jurisdictions employees involved in the infringement of competition law are criminally prosecuted facing financial fines and possible imprisonment. The reason behind it is an acknowledgment by competition authorities that the mere threat of sanctions against managers and personal liability could be a more effective deterrent than the possibility of only undertaking-focused sanctions. The amount of fines imposed for antitrust infringements, and for hard core cartel violations in particular, has notably augmented over the last years. This paper will argue why managers are employed in harmful activities risking imposition of severe fines and adverse reputational impact for themselves and the owners of the undertakings they work for and what are the tools within undertaking that can reduce the risk of being involved in unlawful antitrust practices and minimize the negative impact if anticompetitive behaviour has occurred.



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