- Cartels — Horizontal agreements — Basic principles of competition law
This chapter explores the EU anti-cartel policy. A cartel can be defined as a collective organization whose members make an agreement to suspend competition among themselves. The cartels against which EU competition law takes exception are however slightly different. Whilst Article 101 TFEU takes issue with collective organizations whose purpose is to suspend competition, its primary target are secret organizations, not State-sponsored ones, whose members are undertakings and not government entities. Economists unanimously agree that a cartel produces significant welfare losses, which probably exceed those of a monopoly. A cartel is, in fact, comparable to a collective monopoly. It therefore exhibits all the inefficiencies associated with form of organization: allocative inefficiencies and distributive inefficiencies.