Oligopoly

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Oligopoly
1999

The OECD Competition Committee debated oligopolies in 1999. This document includes an executive summary, an analytical note by Mr. Gary Hewitt for the OECD and submissions from Australia, Canada, the European Commission, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, as well as an aide-memoire of the discussion.

Oligopolies are markets where profit maximising competitors set their strategies by paying close attention to how their rivals are likely to react. In these conditions, firms might differentiate their products, which can benefit some consumers, but at a price. Oligopoly inter-dependence can also foster anti-competitive coordination. Competition laws prohibit collusion that raises prices, restricts output or divides markets. But the laws do not prohibit conscious parallelism. Thus firms in an oligopoly might imitate their rivals’ pricing and other competitive behaviour in a process that harms consumer welfare, yet without reaching an explicit agreement. Competition agencies generally prefer to deal with this risk through structural prevention, notably merger control, rather than detailed regulation. Some competition agencies also employ behavioural restraints to reduce the probability of conscious parallelism.

Fighting Hard Core Cartels: Harm, Effective Sanctions and Leniency Programmes (2002) Nature and Impact of Hard Core Cartels and Sanctions against Cartels under National Competition Laws (2002) OECD Recommendation of the Council Concerning Effective Action Against Hard Core Cartels (1998) Competition Policy and Procurement Markets (1998) Regulatory Reform, Privatisation and Competition Policy (1992)

Unclassified
Organisation de Coopération et de Développement Economiques Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

DAFFE/CLP(99)25

OLIS : 19-Oct-1999 Dist. : 21-Oct-1999 ____________________________________________________________

______________________________ Or. Eng.
DIRECTORATE FOR FINANCIAL, FISCAL AND ENTERPRISE AFFAIRS

DAFFE/CLP(99)25 Unclassified
Or. Eng.

COMMITTEE ON COMPETITION LAW AND POLICY

OLIGOPOLY

83102
Document complet disponible sur OLIS dans son format d’origine Complete document available on OLIS in its original format

DAFFE/CLP(99)25

FOREWORD

This document comprises proceedings in the original languages of a Roundtable on Oligopoly which was held by the Committee on Competition Law and Policy in May 1999. It is published under the responsibility of the Secretary General of the OECD to bring information on this topic to the attention of a wider audience. This compilation is one of several published in a series entitled "Competition Policy Roundtables".

PRÉFACE

Ce document rassemble la documentation dans la langue d'origine dans laquelle elle a été soumise, relative à une table ronde sur les oligopoles qui s'est tenue en mai 1999 dans le cadre de la réunion du Comité du droit et de la politique de la concurrence. Il est publié sous la responsabilité du Secrétaire général de l'OCDE afin de porter à la connaissance d'un large public, les éléments d'information qui ont été réunis à cette occasion. Cette compilation fait partie de la série intitulée "Les tables rondes sur la politique de la concurrence".

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DAFFE/CLP(99)25

OTHER TITLES SERIES ROUNDTABLES ON COMPETITION POLICY

1.

Competition Policy and Environment (Roundtable in May 1995, published in 1996) Failing Firm Defence (Roundtable in May 1995, published in 1996) Competition Policy and Film Distribution (Roundtable in November 1995, published in 1996) Competition Policy and Efficiency Claims in Horizontal Agreements (Roundtable in November 1995, published in 1996) The Essential Facilities Concept (Roundtable in February 1996, published in 1996) Competition in...
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