Cartel screening – can competition authorities and corporations afford not to use big data to detect cartels?

Competition authorities have recently placed an increasing emphasis on developing screening tools to pro-actively detect cartels through the analysis of procurement data. In light of this development, this article reviews the economics behind such screening tools together with strategic considerations for corporations seeking to develop and implement similar tools. Owing to their access to data and the known recent development of screens by competition authorities, the authors believe that, if corporations become active screeners, they could effectively contribute to the deterrence and detection of cartels. This should be in their own interest to do so as well. As part of the development and application of such screening tools, a close cooperation between competition authorities and corporations is advocated for each party to exchange experiences and to mutually benefit from the results of well-functioning screens.

Contributor Notes

Hannes Beth is a Senior Manager and Oliver Gannon is an Economist in the Competition Litigation and Antitrust Economics Department at Deutsche Bahn AG, Germany. Together with the procurement department, the authors are currently developing a cartel screening tool at Deutsche Bahn. This article represents the personal views of the authors.

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