Lysine Cartel Video Available from DOJ

Josh Wright —  23 October 2007

Todd Zywicki recommends Kurt Eichenwald’s The Informant, the fascinating story of the prosecution of the Archer Daniels Midland lysine cartel in the 1990s, and asks whether the famous DOJ videotapes and transcripts of cartel meetings are available online.  I’m not sure if they are online, but the DOJ does make the tapes and transcripts available free of charge (or at least used to) by mailing or faxing a request to the following address:

Freedom of Information Act Unit — Antitrust Division
Liberty Place Building, Suite 200
Department of Justice
Washington DC, 20530-0001
Phone: 202 514 – 2692
Fax: 202 616 – 4529

I’ve used these tapes as a teaching tool most years that I’ve taught antitrust (though unfortunately I had to leave them out last year) to motivate discussions of factors that work for and against the successful operation of a cartel, the incentive to deviate from cartel agreements, and the cartel’s need for means to detect and punish deviators.  The tape is fascinating to watch and a great tool for teaching about price fixing, how its accomplished, criminal antitrust enforcement, leniency programs, etc.  I believe the ABA has made various translations of the tapes and transcripts available as well, though I cant say I know exactly where to find them.

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