Cartel Policy in Nordic Countries

Cartel Policy in Nordic Counties

Enforcement of laws prohibiting cartels is a fundamental part of antitrust policy in most countries. This has also been the case in the Nordic countries for several decades. Although the Nordic countries’ antitrust enforcement is harmonized with EU competition law, the enforcement systems have until recently varied quite a lot from country to country in the Nordic region.

In this seminar we will discuss the design of better cartel policies and, in particular, how various elements complement each other to lead to more effective policies. Beginning with a general discussion of cartel policy design, we will then explain and discuss the legal enforcement systems in the four largest Nordic countries of Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden, emphasizing similarities, but even more so how they differ. Next, the legal cartels that existed before 2000 will be contrasted with the illegal cartels that have been detected by competition authorities during the last two decades. We will also review and discuss recent changes in Swedish cartel policy. Finally, recent challenges for cartel enforcement will be discussed with a focus on the rise in the role of algorithms.


  • 12.30-12.40: Welcome
  • 12.40-13.20: Joseph Harrington: Design of optimal cartel policy
  • 13.20-13.50: Ingrid M. H. Barlund: Cartel enforcement within the Nordic countries – shared experiences and new insights
  • 13.50-14.20: Frode Steen: Legal cartels in Nordic countries before 2000
  • 14.20-14.50: Coffee Break
  • 14.50-15.20: Lars Sørgard: Illegal cartels in Nordic countries after 2000
  • 15.20-15.50: Lars Henriksson: Cartel enforcement in Sweden – recent experiences
  • 15.50-16.30: Robert Clark: Algorithmic pricing and collusion

The speakers

Joseph Harrington is Professor of Business Economics and Public Policy at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

Ingrid M. H. Barlund is Associate Professor of Law at the Faculty of Law, University of Bergen

Frode Steen is Professor of Economics at Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics

Lars Sørgard is Professor of Economics at Department of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics

Lars Henriksson is Professor of Law at Stockholm School of Economics

Robert Clark is Professor of Economics at Department of Economics, Queen’s University