Collusion is illegal in many states and surely in the UK, therefore bing houses do non conspire with one another in an oligopoly structured market. However, this is non the whole narrative as there have been instances of collusion in past old ages reported by the BBC News such as in the market for football kits where there are a few taking sportswear houses, JJB Sports, Umbro and Manchester United have fixed monetary values for reproduction kits in 2005 and these houses have been fined an tremendous sum of money from 1.5 million lbs to 6.3 million lbs. Another instance of collusion includes the market for computing machine memory french friess where a large company such as Samsung has colluded with other computing machine memory french friess houses like Elpida Memory, Infineon and Hynix Semiconductor to repair the monetary values of computing machine memory french friess and has driven up the monetary values of personal computing machines and electronic devices in 2006 and people involved in repairing monetary values have been sentenced to gaol for seven to eight months and besides fined. Three old ages ago, a more recent collusion between houses in the Dutch brewing sector where beer makers such as Heineken, Grolsch and Bavaria have been penalised for monetary value repair by the European Union and it was the seventh-largest punishment of all time handed out by the European Union to houses for conspiring with one another. Therefore, a few inquiries arise like what is the definition of collusion? Is collusion a truly “ attractive ” policy? What are the effects of collusion? Once a collusion is formed between houses, is it possible to prolong it for a long period of clip? In this essay, I will travel on to discourse about the different faces of this controversial issue in today ‘s modern universe economic system.

What is a collusion and why is it attractive?

A collusion is a understanding or a pact between different bing houses come together and unite as one in a market to move as a exclusive marketer in the bing market or act as a monopolizer. It is considered illegal around the universe with policies such as the The Competition Act 1998 and The Enterprise Act 2002 in the United Kingdom.

“ A monopoly granted either to an person or to a trading company has the same consequence as a secret in trade or industries. The monopolizers, by maintaining the market invariably under-stocked, by ne’er to the full providing the effective demand, sell their trade goods much above the natural monetary value, and raise their emoluments, whether they consist in rewards or net income, greatly above their natural rate. ” -Adam Smith, ( 1776 ) , The Wealth of Nations.


As can be seen from the above quotation mark, “ secret in trade ” mentioning to conspiring houses with purpose to drive up monetary values of goods and services by cut downing end product to a certain degree alternatively of bring forthing at a competitory degree to gain a monopolizer net income which is a supranormal net income at the point where the houses chooses it ‘s monetary value where it maximises net income which is when the fringy gross is tantamount to the fringy cost. The net income gained by conspiring with one another and forcing monetary values, measure produced and net incomes to a monopolizer degree, is so divided between the colluded houses. Conspiring houses may non split net incomes every bit among each other but they could split the net income to an already agreed per centum, which could differ due to different grounds such as efficiency degree, entire production degree and the per centum of the market acquired, of the net income gained when they ab initio agreed to conspire with one and another.


Net income





Q2 Q1

As can be seen from the figure above, houses gain the net income shaded by the orange country if they were to conspire and bring forth at the monopolizer degree at Q2 alternatively of Q1 which is the allocatively efficient degree. Further to this, by moving as a monopolizer in the market, bing houses could work the economic systems of graduated table. This could take down their mean costs and make an addition in net incomes.

Another ground bing houses in a market collude with one and another is to restrict competition in the market. Conspiring houses can hold an advantage over other houses that are in the market, therefore doing these houses that are non in the collusion to go forth the market. By making so, conspiring houses could besides forestall new houses from come ining the market where new houses could endanger their current net incomes that they are gaining. Conspiring houses can make this by puting up quotas on gross revenues, production degree and monetary values

A collusion with one house and another are largely more effectual in a oligopoly structured market where there are merely a few houses in the bing market compared to hone competition and monopolistic competition where there are a batch of Sellerss in the bing market.

Why are collusions fragile?

When a collusion is being formed between bing houses, they might hold agreed to a certain extent of net income portion at the start of the collusion, but when clip goes on and the houses no longer agree to the initial agreed per centum of net income, they may go rivals in that bing market and stop up with a normal net income alternatively of the monopolizer supranormal net income

In add-on to that, if a collusion is acquiring bigger and bigger, there is a opportunity that houses might get down to vie against each other alternatively of conspiring with one and another. This is because, the market is traveling towards a construction of a market that resembles the construction of a perfect competition or a monopolistic competition market where houses can no longer collude because even if they do, they would non do a large difference to the bing market because there are a batch of other Sellerss selling about homogeneous or homogeneous merchandises.

Besides that, bing collusions may do houses to get down to believe for themselves as a house alternatively of a collusion. Existing houses may hold an inducement to rip off against other houses by bring forthing more and selling it than ab initio agreed when the collusion is formed provided other houses does non take any action to counter and remains soundless about the current house bring forthing and selling more as monetary value is higher than fringy cost given by net income is the merchandise of measure sold and the difference between monetary value and fringy costs and besides monetary value is non affected by the alteration in end product because the monetary value remains changeless due to the initial understandings of the collusion. Firms will seek to derive more net incomes than other houses and might get down to seek and extinguish the other existing houses in the market to go a existent monopolizer alternatively of moving as one where the house could take all the monopolistic net income without sharing it with any other houses. Therefore, this may do other bing houses in the collusion to hold an inducement to make the same thing and the colluding houses would stop up where they started. This can be explained by the game theory.

Game theory is state of affairss where people are doing determinations where they have to believe of another individual ‘s response to their ain determination or action, in short, determinations made are dependent on one and another. An illustration of the game theory that would be used to explicate the inducement for conspiring houses to rip off would be the “ captive ‘s quandary ” . The bing houses in the collusion know that their net incomes depend on the determination of each and another.

Therefore, from the captive ‘s quandary, we can see that it is non easy for bing houses to work with one and another, although colluding houses are interested in maximizing their supranormal net incomes, but there might be a certain sum of clip where bing houses can conspire with one and another before get downing to take a determination whether to rip off on other houses by bring forthing and selling more.

The captives ‘ quandary is a peculiar game that illustrated why it is hard to collaborate, even when it is in the best involvement of both parties. Both participants select their ain dominant schemes for short-sighted personal addition. Finally, they reach an equilibrium in which they are both worse off than they would hold been, if they could both hold to choose an alternate ( non-dominant ) scheme.


As a decision, if a collusion is to be instead successful, active houses should be near to each other in the determiners of the division of the net income in footings of production cost, market portion, technological degree and others. This would enable houses to be on equal par at least when spliting the net incomes so that there will non be a dissension in the hereafter where houses starts to be more interested in their ain houses and decides to extinguish other bing houses and be a monopolizer in the market. Conspiring houses should besides supervise one and another ‘s action and behavior and does non react excessively irrationally and rapidly in instance one of the houses reneges. This would allow the collusion right back to where they foremost started ab initio.

Governments are frequently believed to be the 1s to halt collusion as it is illegal. However, this is non the whole narrative as authoritiess might play a portion in organizing legal collusion such as the OPEC where middle-east states restrict their production of oil despite there is an addition in demand for oil in the United States and the United Kingdom which will force monetary values of oil up to $ 100 per barrel where the monetary value is at $ 87.79 now.

“ Peoples of the same trade seldom run into together, even for gaiety and recreation, but the conversation ends in a confederacy against the public, or in some appliance to raise monetary values. It is impossible so to forestall such meetings, by any jurisprudence which either could be executed, or would be consistent with autonomy and justness. But though the jurisprudence can non impede people of the same trade from sometimes piecing together, it ought to make nil to ease such assemblies ; much less to render them necessary. “ -Adam Smith, ( 1776 ) , The Wealth of Nations.

As can been seen from the quotation mark above by Adam Smith, collusions will go on necessarily and are really difficult to be traced or spotted by authoritiess although consumers are protected by competition Torahs. Therefore, authoritiess try to descry collusions and monetary value repair in markets but monetary values in oligopoly market construction are really near to each other as it might be a portion of competitory pricing compared to collusive pricing. Hence, they are really hard to state unless there is solid grounds where houses contacted each other to conspire and repair their monetary values or restrict production.

I believe that despite the fact the collusion between bing houses are difficult to descry in a market, collusion is a delicate policy every bit attractive as it is to organize, which means although houses might be involved in collusion, they may non be able to prolong it due to the greater inducement to interrupt the understanding between them by renegue oning on one and another compared to the inducement to remain colluded and move as a monopolizer.


ANON. , ( 2005 ) , Football kit ‘price-fixers ‘ fined, BBC News, hypertext transfer protocol: //

ANON. , ( 2006 ) , Samsung work forces ‘admit ‘ monetary value repair, BBC News, hypertext transfer protocol: //

ANON. , ( 2007 ) , Dutch beer makers fined over trust, BBC News, hypertext transfer protocol: //

ANON. , ( 2007 ) , Can record companies act in concert, even without holding to make so? , The Economist, hypertext transfer protocol: //

Hinton C. ( 2010 ) , OPEC wo n’t raise its oil production rate, MarketWatch, hypertext transfer protocol: //

Smith, A. ( 1776 ) , An Enquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations online from the Adam Smith Institute