Cartel

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  • An organization of producers with the explicit or implicit motive of fixing prices and regulating the share of output in a particular market by collusion. Collusion may be overt, such as that of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), or covert, as was the case in the Borden, Pet, and Dean Food companies. The product of a cartel may be standardized (e.g., oil) or nonstandardized (e.g., steel).

    Cartels are illegal in the United States, meaning that any collusion to determine prices and output in the United States will have to be surreptitious (covert) and will be in violation of antitrust laws. Since illegal cartels are difficult to detect, only verdicts in antitrust cases involving the rigging of prices and adjustments of output can actually determine ...

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