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Combatting and Criminalizing Cartels and Corruption

Date: 20 June 2024

Time: 15.00 - 18.30 (Registration from 14.30) followed by a reception
Followed by a drinks reception

Venue: Moot Court, Somerset House East Wing, Strand Campus, Strand, WC2R 2LS

Co-organised with:

Programme Details

15.00 - 16.30

Why do countries with criminal antitrust sanctions fail to incarcerate price fixers?

Many jurisdictions have criminalized cartel conduct and authorized custodial sentences for offenders in efforts to enhance antitrust enforcement. The speakers discuss their Journal of Antitrust Enforcement paper, which explores why so few of those jurisdictions have imposed prison sentences on cartelists.

The speakers find that the reasons are varied. Statutory impediments and poor case selection are important factors. Others include poor case management, separation of investigation and prosecutorial responsibilities and judicial reluctance to impose sentences on 'white collar' criminals. In addition, lack of public support and cultural differences in sentencing in general also probably play roles.


Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, Co-Director of the Competition Law Forum, BIICL


  • Terry Calvani, Senior advisor, Brunswick Washington DC
  • Rory Jones, Senior Associate, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Prof. Andreas Stephan, University of East Anglia

16.30   Refreshments 

17.00 - 18.30 Book Launch: 

Robert D. Anderson, Alison Jones and William E. Kovacic, Combatting Corruption and Collusion in Public Procurement: A Challenge for Government's Worldwide (Oxford University Press, 2024).

Corruption in public procurement typically involves procurement decisions taken in favour of preferred bidders in exchange for improper compensation (the acceptance of bribes, for example), while supplier collusion refers to a type of cartel activity, in which firms rig their bids in a tendering process. Although these practices are distinct, they frequently occur together in the public procurement context, reinforcing one another. Combatting Corruption and Collusion in Public Procurement: A Challenge for Governments Worldwide examines the causes of corruption and collusion in the public procurement sphere, its resulting harm, and how states can best try to combat these practices. It provides a legal, economic, and practical analysis of relevant issues both generally and in seven diverse and representative jurisdictions: the United Kingdom, the United States, Brazil, Hungary and Poland, Ukraine, and Canada. It encompasses a discussion of both 'generic' cross-jurisdictional issues and specific proposals for individual jurisdictions. The book stresses the need for a multi-faceted and joined-up approach to the problems, emphasizing the importance both of enhanced investment in the effective enforcement of anti-corruption and cartel laws and of increasing the resilience of public procurement systems to corruption and collusion through a range of measures. The relevance of the topic to the social and economic well-being of citizens and the survival of democratic governance is highlighted throughout the book.


Liza Lovdahl Gormsen, Co-Director of the Competition Law Forum at BIICL


  • Michael Bowsher KC, Monckton Chambers,
  • Juliette Enser, Competition Markets Authority,
  • Lord Garnier KC, 4 Pump Court
  • Prof. Andreas Stephan, University of East Anglia

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