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Global Price Fixing: Our Customers are the Enemy

Global Price Fixing: Our Customers are the Enemy

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The goal of Global Price Fixing is to describe and analyze the origins, operation, and impacts of global cartels in the markets for lysine, citric acid, and vitamins. The work is fundamentally a historical approach to understanding the interplay among personal motivations, economic forces, and the enforcement of the competition laws of the major industrial nations.

The first chapter highlights the renewed importance of international price-fixing conspiracies after an absence of nearly 50 years. Two following chapters provide background on the economics theory and legal principles relevant to understanding cartels. Nine following chapters comprise the economic core of this book. Three chapters are devoted to each of the three cartels selected for intensive study: citric acid, lysine, and vitamins. The next four chapters then concentrate on the legal fallout from the discovery of the three cartels by the world's antitrust authorities. Chapter 17 provides a description of a few additional selected cartels with features not found in the lysine, citric acid, and vitamins cases. The penultimate chapter considers whether the antitrust resources of government agencies and private plaintiffs are sufficient to deter global price fixing in the foreseeable future. This final chapter attempts to identify major themes that appear throughout the book and to provide a summary of the ultimate impact of the global-cartel pandemic of the 1990s.