Business Cartels: Sleeping with the Enemy

Christopher Harding and Julian Joshua

in Regulating Cartels in Europe

Second edition

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199551484
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191594977 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in European Law

Business Cartels: Sleeping with the Enemy

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This chapter explains and defines the subject-matter of the book and maps out the scope and direction of the subsequent discussion. It introduces the concept of the business cartel, with some explanation of its economic context and significance. It outlines the operation of typical business cartels, with some introduction to the possible origins of and motivations for cartelization, leading to some initial exploration of the dynamic of cartel activity. There is some probing of the natural irony and tensions within cartel activity — the element of truce between natural rivals (‘the customer is our enemy’), the prevailing risks and uncertainties of cartel alliance or conspiracy, and the enduring attraction of illicit cooperation in the face of increasingly tough legal control.

Keywords: cartel; legal control; cooperation; truce; economic context; tensions

Chapter.  11937 words. 

Subjects: EU Law

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