Private Enforcement Against International Cartels in Latin America: A U.S. Perspective

Competition Policy and Antitrust

Article Snapshot


Daniel A. Crane


Cardozo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 231; Competition Policy and Law in Latin America, Hart, 2009


This paper looks at private lawsuits against cartels in Latin America.

Policy Relevance

Expanding private lawsuits against cartels in Latin American would help consumers, though private competition lawsuits in general have been problematic in the U.S.

Main Points

  • In the antitrust suit against the Empagran vitamin cartel, seven foreign governments (Germany, Belgium, Canada, Japan, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Ireland, and the Netherlands) argued that letting foreign buyers bring class-action suits in the U.S. could slow private anti-cartel enforcement in other countries.

  • It would not work well for the rest of the world to rely on anti-cartel enforcement in the U.S. and the EU alone.

  • Limitations on private cartel enforcement in Latin America range from the lack of private rights of action to administrative, procedural, evidentiary, and cultural hurdles. Three areas need work: claim aggregation, access to information, and judicial or administrative competence.

  • Private enforcement of antitrust has some problems, but a limited regime of private enforcement against cartels in Latin America will generally be beneficial for consumers. The Latin American model need not follow the U.S. model.

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