The Proof Identificatioin and Market Position Abusing of Concerted Actions under Antirust Regulations in an Oligopoly Market
A concerted action is an implicit or tacit collusion. Since explicit or concrete agreements are usually absent in concerted actions, it is worthwhile to explore the questions as to how a concerted action is achieved by several firms, as well as what kind of actions should be identified as illegal collusions. This project focuses on three topics:
1. The characteristics of a concerted action in a oligopoly market, and how a concerted action is formed;
2. Under what circumstances a concerted action would be evaluated as illegal;
3. The impact of a concerted action upon social welfare;
4. Guidelines for the determination and evaluation of a concerted action.
To understand the evolution of concerted action doctrine, this project analyses leading cases from American judicial system in detail. We focus on the analysis of original legal documents of the cases, rather than the study of general textbooks or academic articles, to have a better grasp on the factual contexts and reasoning of the decisions. At the same time, this project explores relevant economic and legal references on concerted actions to support our analysis and argument. As a study focusing on specific decisions, it does not, however, touch the historical review of the development of the concerted action doctrine.
This project selects six leading cases in the area of concerted action for purposes of conducting detailed analysis. As we have known, concerted actions have their inherent weaknesses in economic sense. When it is prohibited to conduct concerted actions explicitly under antitrust regulation, there certainly is incentive to facilitate inter-firm communications or exchange business assurance through some controversial ways and further to overcome the inherent weaknesses of concerted actions. Therefore, this project selects cases in which ways of conducting concerted actions are controversial for our analysis. It is so because a reasonable firm would not choose explicit illegal ways to conduct business. Furthermore, cases involving controversial ways of conducting business might have some positive functions (such as reasonable exchange of information) and sometimes this is also why firms would choose them to facilitate their collusions. The six cases analyzed in this project cover the major types of collusion for the regulatory agency to have a better understanding in the future.