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Competition Policy and Price Fixing$
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Louis Kaplow

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691158624

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691158624.001.0001

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(p.1) 1 Introduction
Competition Policy and Price Fixing

Louis Kaplow

Princeton University Press

This chapter summarizes the book's main arguments. It sketches an overview of an analytical foundation for designing policy toward coordinated price elevation in oligopolistic industries, at the same time arguing for a straightforward approach to the issue. Systematic comparison with a more direct, functional approach reveals conventional means to be inferior and in important respects counterproductive in cases without smoking-gun evidence. In those settings, a direct approach dominates the conventionally favored communications-based prohibition in that the former targets situations that involve both greater social harm and less risk of chilling desirable behavior than those most likely to generate liability under the latter. The direct approach is also less difficult to administer, contrary to conventional wisdom.

Keywords:   coordinated price elevation, oligopolistic industries, direct approach, indirect approach, price fixing, competition law, oligopoly theory, modern competition policy

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