Cartels - Case 11

Estimation of overcharge in a liquid gas cartel proceeding

Cartel case in liquid petroleum gas retailing. We advised a German retailer of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) in the context of proceedings in front of an appeals court. The competition authority estimated an overcharge by comparing prices of the LPG retailer to the prices of other retailers who were not part of the alleged cartel. The estimation involved prices during the alleged cartel period only. We analysed transaction data from the client and found that the price differences between the client and the other retailers were largely the same during and after the alleged cartel. This makes it unlikely that these differences were due to a cartel. In addition, we used traditional methods for overcharge estimation like the comparison of prices over time taking into account other explanatory factors. Again, we could not find a significant overcharge.