Defining a Cartel and Analyzing Its Effects

  • John Sanghyun LeeEmail author


A cartel is an agreement or a collective action to restrain reciprocal business activities among plural independent entrepreneurs competing in the same level of a business industry to prevent competition thereby securing extra profit. In order to achieve international law on cartels, the international community needs to focus on hard core cartel (HHC) activities with several types of categories, narrower than the definition, because most countries agree with the necessity of regulating such narrowed cartels and because international agreements have been developed with such focuses. Cartels cause more harms than benefits in markets and societies either domestic or global, so there needs regulations on cartels. Meanwhile, interstate commodity cartels need to be exempted from such cartel regulation so that they may reduce extreme price fluctuations. The Intergovernmental producers association (IPA) needs to be under international commodity laws different from the law for typical private cartels. To utilize international support for cartel regulations, international cartel law should focus on private cartels with priority since there have been growing research studies on the cartels sufficient enough to reach a consensus among countries.


Cartel Hard core cartel Commodity cartel Cartel regulation Intergovernmental producers’ association (IPA) A binding international agreement International commodity agreement (ICA) 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Global Law Department, College of LawSoongsil UniversitySeoulKorea (Republic of)
  2. 2.Golden Gate University School of LawSan FranciscoUSA

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