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The UK Response to the Global Effort against Cartels: Is Criminalisation Really the Solution?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Alison Jones, Rebecca Williams

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-125
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Antitrust Enforcement
Issue number1
Early online date20 Feb 2014
Accepted/In press20 Feb 2014
E-pub ahead of print20 Feb 2014
PublishedApr 2014

Bibliographical note

24/11/15 Dear Marianna I have negotiated a special agreement with them to allow me to put this on (it is on SSRN already) Kind regards Alison


King's Authors


This article considers the increasing tendency for states to introduce criminal cartel regimes and notes that, despite this tendency, few jurisdictions, aside from the USA, have been successful in imprisoning individuals involved in cartel conduct. The article examines why this might be, focussing on the difficulties and problems that have been encountered with the criminal cartel offence in the UK. The article discusses both theoretical and practical obstacles that appear, up until now, to have undermined the force and effectiveness of the UK regime and led to concerns about its scope. Given the difficulties identified, the article concludes that caution should be exercised before a state, intent on increasing deterrents to cartel activity, decides to criminalize such conduct. Rather, it recommends that such jurisdictions should consider not only criminalization of cartel activity but whether steps to enhance civil enforcement might be a preferable and more efficient solution for increasing the force of, and respect for, cartel rules.

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