The Vitamins Conspiracies
The vitamins industries were ripe for collusion. Nearly 100 international cartels were formed in the chemical industries in the early 20th century (Leiden University 2005). One of them formed in 1928 pooled patents and divided world exports in vitamin D (Hexner 1946:347–349). Makers of organic chemical intermediates have one of the highest rates of cartel formation of any industry, and vitamins are organic chemicals (Connor and Helmers 2006). Among international cartels discovered since 1990, 30% were in chemical markets. International cartel conduct is also more common among European and Japanese manufacturers than among North American firms. Because vitamins production was even more highly concentrated and more difficult to enter in the 1970s and 1980s than in the 1990s, it seems likely that overt collusion was practiced at least among firms within the Western European and Japanese markets prior to 1990.
KeywordsMarket Share List Price Choline Chloride Chinese Export Cartel Member
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