Why do companies fix prices?  Because
they can get away with it?  Hmmm.

Blawgletter notes, with concern, that the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division hasn’t brought a single new price-fixing case in 2007.  Worse, in all of 2006, the Division filed only one — against a magazine paper manufacturer — according to a review of its press releases.  What has the group done instead?  Pursued small-time bid-riggers and liars(!) and wrung its hands over whether antitrust laws inhibit monopolists too much.

Does Blawgletter believe that the lack of price-fixing prosecutions reflects less criminality?  That cartels have ceased fixing prices and dividing markets?  Or that less enforcement has encouraged voluntary compliance?


A believer in enforcement cycles, Blawgletter predicts that the conspiracies of that last several years will start coming to light in, oh, about mid-January 2009.  Just a guess.

Barry Barnett

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