The price fixer: Compliance tales from the other side

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This paper fills an important gap in the antitrust compliance literature by exploring the perspective of the price fixer in breaches of competition law. It provides a critical analysis of statements made by price fixers, their competition lawyers and in-house counsel involved in cartel cases. The study draws on a combination of publicly available statements and anonymised accounts collected over 15 years of engaging with each of these three groups. It concludes that those responsible for cartels are motivated by varying factors and do not necessarily understand or accept that cartel behaviour is wrongful. Also, disciplining those individuals is complicated by the incentives created through leniency and settlement programmes. These findings highlight the importance of continued investment in compliance and the broader need for education in competition law to make it less likely that infringements will occur in the first place.