On the Alleged Disproportionate Sentencing of Cartel Managers: A Response to Professor John M. Connor

CPI Cartel Column by Richard Pike, Ankur Kapoor, Doug Rosenthal & James Ashe-Taylor (Partners at Constantine Cannon LLP, focusing on antitrust litigation & counseling)

Professor Connor published an article in the CPI Cartel Column recently[1] taking issue with comments we had made in the Nikkei Asian Review.[2] Whilst we have great respect for such a widely-published economist, and note that his article includes some interesting observations, Professor Connor’s sensationalist characterization of our comments requires correction.  We also question some of the points Professor Connor makes in his article.

Enforcement Policy Not Sentencing Discrimination

The statistics presented by Professor Connor focus on the lengths of prison sentences and amounts of fines imposed on foreign cartel managers compared to their U.S. counterparts. He contends that the evidence shows there is no discrimination and, indeed, that foreigners were treated more leniently.

It may be that this conclusion is correct. We do not have the data to say one way or the other. As interesting as it may be, however, it does not respond to any point we made in our article.

Readers will search in vain for any suggestion in our article that there has been sentencing discrimination in the sense that foreigners have been sentenced more harshly than U.S. citizens for participation in cartels. The quote from our piece which Professor Connor included in the introduction to his article, and which might appear t


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