Parallelism in EU and US Competition Law
New Horizons in Competition Law and Economics series
Tacit collusion has become the ordinary way for companies to collude, especially in oligopoly. Strategic interdependence of companies, which is typical of oligopoly, may facilitate the establishment of standards of behaviour or modus operandi aimed at maximizing companies’ joint profits. In its pure form, tacit collusion is established and maintained by a mechanism of mutual observation and repeated interaction, even in the absence of communication between companies. This outcome, however, may be achieved only in the presence of specific factors seconding the alignment of conducts and, therefore, in a market framework conducive to collusion. Game theory has contributed to the understanding of tacit collusion, by identifying the behavioural strategies that support parallelism and the market factors that may facilitate the alignment of conducts. Also, behavioural economics teachings have noticeably affected antitrust control of tacit collusion and have contributed to improving antitrust enforcement.