Freedom to Compete? The Cartelization of European Transnational Corporations

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    Transnational corporations (TNCs) have been driving forces behind promoting policies aimed at protecting and further intensifying competition in global markets. This article aims to examine the extent to which leading European TNCs that have promoted such policies have been involved in cartels. To this end, the article focuses on companies associated with the European Roundtable of Industrialists (ERT), a highly influential network consisting of top executives from a range of Europe’s largest TNCs that has consistently urged political decision-makers to give companies the ‘freedom to compete’. We find that a third of these companies were convicted for participating in cartels between 1990 and 2010. Drawing on critical political economy scholarship, it is concluded that this behaviour may not be paradoxical.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalCompetition and Change
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)20-36
    Number of pages17
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Cartels
    • Transnational Corporations
    • European Roundtable of Industrialists
    • Competition

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