Stelzer: Jail sentences not fines deter price fixing
…it will be a long while before mere fines will destroy the culture of price fixing that permeates British business’ claims Dr Irwin Stelzer in a new book published by the Institute of Economic Affairs*. Nor, he argues, are damage suits likely to be an effective deterrent in Britain unless damages are trebled as they are in the United States.

Stelzer would also like to see more adversarial procedures in British competition cases, with experts confronting each other and the staffs of agencies being cross-examined by private parties. Competition policy should be left to the competition agencies. Politicians should keep out except for the selection of members of the agencies and for the injection of ‘considerations other than competitive impact’ into decisions where politicians feel that to be necessary.

Dr Stelzer’s views are contained in a collection of his essays which cover a wide range of issues in the fields of regulation and competition policy in which he is an acknowledged expert. The three main areas he covers are competition policy, regulatory policy and policy towards energy and the environment.