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Competition

Purchasing Power and Buyers Cartels

 

  22 June 2022  Paris

Competition law and enforcement often focuses on sellers and the conditions on which they sell their products or services to buyers.  However, competition also impacts how buyers interact with markets when purchasing goods and services, and competition law similarly applies to these interactions in many settings and jurisdictions.  These matters can range from co-ordinated conduct by buyers, such as cartels that conspire to lower purchase prices, to unilateral conduct by buyers that hold substantial purchasing power, with the focus of assessment being on monopsony or oligopsony power rather than the more common assessment of monopoly or oligopoly.

In June 2022, the OECD will hold a roundtable that will explore purchasing power and buyers' cartel. This roundtable will have a particular focus on buyer's cartels, including how authorities deal with these and whether there are differences in approach between them and sellers’ cartels. It will also consider joint purchasing agreements, how distinct these are from cartels, as well as how authorities regulate the conduct of permitted joint purchasing agreements, such as their ability to boycott sellers.

As well as buyer power being exercised in a co-ordinated manner, this roundtable will also consider how purchasing power being exercised unilaterally affects competition.  It will consider the ability and desire of competition law enforcement to tackle it, as well as considering specific regulations that address these issues that are in place in several jurisdictions.  The roundtable will also explore the trade-offs between different types of enforcement, including the extent to which authorities  approach to the assessment of competitive harm from purchasing power.

All related documentation will become available on this page.

See the full list of best practice roundtables on competition.

Invited Speakers

Peter Carstensen Bio  
Professor, University of Wisconsin

Kazuhiko Fuchikawa Bio 
Associate Professor, Osaka Metropolitan University

Nancy Rose Bio  
Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 

Documents 

purchasing-power-and-buyers-cartels-cover

OECD Background note l Version française

 

Contributions from delegations

Australia

BIAC

Brazil

Chile

Colombia

EU

Finland

France (EN | FR)

Hungary

India

Italy

Korea

Lithuania

Switzerland

Chinese Taipei

United States

Summaries of contributions

 

Related best practice roundtables

Competition Issues in Labour Markets 2019

Monopsony and Buyer Power 2008

Competition and Regulation in Agriculture: Monopsony Buying and Joint Selling 2004

Buying Power of Multiproduct Retailers 1998

See also

OECD best practice roundtables on competition

Fighting bid rigging in public procurement

More OECD work on competition 

 

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