Recommendation concerning Effective Action against Hard Core Cartels




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Hard core cartels are the most egregious violations of competition law. They injure consumers in many countries by raising prices and restricting supply, thus making goods and services completely unavailable to some purchasers and unnecessarily expensive for others.

Effective action against hard core cartels is particularly important from an international perspective -- because their distortion of world trade creates market power, waste, and inefficiency in countries whose markets would otherwise be competitive -- and particularly dependent upon co-operation -- because they generally operate in secret, and relevant evidence may be located in many different countries.

Adopted on 25 March 1998, this Recommendation advises member countries to ensure that their competition laws effectively halt and deter hard core cartels by providing for effective sanctions and adequate enforcement procedures and institutions to detect and remedy hard core cartels.

Non member countries are invited to associate themselves with this Recommendation and to implement it.


Latest developments

The range and importance of developments in the enforcement against cartels led the Competition Committee to decide to monitor the implementation of this Recommendation for the first time since 2005.

The OECD conducted a survey on developments and trends in the fight against cartels, and will prepare a report, which will describe developments and may suggest updates to the Recommendation to bring it into line with cartel enforcement developments that have taken place since it was adopted in 1998. 


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