The Criminal Law of Competition in the UK and in the US
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The Criminal Law of Competition in the UK and in the US

Failure and Success

Mark Furse

This invigorating work details the policy arguments behind the introduction of the law, and examines โ€“ through consideration of the successful prosecutions in the US โ€“ the extent to which the law in practice may be considered to have succeeded or failed in the UK. The role of the US as global antitrust policeman is also considered. The book concludes with a consideration of the difficulties facing the UK in choosing to pursue a criminal route within the current civil framework.
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Chapter 6: Case studies

Mark Furse

Extract

In this chapter a small number of cases are discussed in more detail than has been permitted in the previous chapters. I hope by doing so to give a fuller picture of how cartels operate, and how enforcement proceeds. This treatment should also make clear the extent to which international cooperation in enforcement is important, and the extent to which differences in the operation of particular regimes, in particular the US and the UK, shape the enforcement response, and perhaps the enforcement results. The reader should be aware that by the time formal decisions are taken, or trials are held, the amount of information available may be vast. In the case of the Marine Hose cartel, for example, there are approximately 100 documents available on the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division website (by way of contrast the material available from DG Competition seems positively impoverished, at a mere nine documents). Particular attention is paid to the story of this cartel here, given that it to date represents the only case prosecuted at the criminal level both in the US and in the UK, and it also resulted in an infringement decision at the EU level. This case thus illustrates like no other the ways in which these different regimes may interact. The cases discussed here are presented in chronological order, although it should be noted that given the length of time it may take for a case to work its way through different legal systems, these may overlap. Further, a particular case may continue to be important in setting an enforcement path long after it has itself been resolved. This will be the situation, for example, where an investigation in one case leads to leniency applications in others, and where those cases in turn might generate further leniency applications.

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