1st Edition

A History of Business Cartels International Politics, National Policies and Anti-Competitive Behaviour

Edited By Martin Shanahan, Susanna Fellman Copyright 2022
    344 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    344 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    International cartels are powerful organizations that impact our everyday lives, although they are little known. This book presents 15 historical case studies of international cartels that include agricultural and mineral commodities, the machinery industry, telephone equipment, whiskey and cement. These cases reveal that international cartels manipulated prices and shared markets over many decades but that their real impact was far wider.

    The global convergence towards criminalizing serious cartel conduct has seen a revival in historical research on cartels and competition policy. The regulation of anti-competitive behaviour has changed over time. To understand why the US, European and other modern economies altered their policies through the 20th century, it is critical to understand when, how and why governments have interacted with, and been influenced by, business organizations such as cartels. This volume draws together researchers from different nations to examine the impact of international cartels on the experience of individual nations, those nations’ interactions with one or more international cartels, and ultimately the interactions of individual nations with the wider international community.

    This book will be of interest to researchers, academics and advanced students in the fields of business and economic history, political economy, and government policy, as well as those interested in cartels and their impact on the wider economy.

    1. International Cartels in the Real World: Business, Politics and Diplomacy

    Susanna Fellman and Martin Shanahan

    International cartels and national industry policies

    2. Multinationals, International Cartels and National Powers: The Case of the Plate Glass Industry in Interwar Italy 

    Marco Bertilorenzi

    3. How Cartels Shaped Corporate Performance: The Case of Dutch Steel Industry in the Interwar Period

    Bram Bouwens and Joost Dankers 

    4. Taming the Leviathans: How Norway Managed to Regulate the Strongest International Cartels and Trusts, 1900–1940

    Pål Thonstad Sandvik and Espen Storli

    5. International Cartels in the Political Origins of German Competition Policy, 1949–1973

    Brian Shaev 

    International Cartels and the Influence on Market Standards

    6. ITT, LM Ericsson and Their Market-Sharing Cartel in Denmark and Norway in the 1930s

    Harald Espeli 

    7. International Cartels and National Legislation: Cartels of the Electro-Technical and Machine-Building Industry in Hungary 

    Mária Hidvégi

    National Cartels’ Relation to International Cartels and International Business

    8. The European Cement Oligopoly: A French Business Perspective from 1880 to Today

    Dominque Barjot

    9. European and Swedish Cement Cartels, 1930s–1960s: Stronger Together

    Malin Dahlström

    10. Building international diplomacy: The European Timber Cartel in the 1930s

    Elina Kuorelahti

    11. The Relationship between Spanish Cement, Sugar and Fertiliser Cartels and their European Counterparts under Franco

    Ana Rosado-Cubero

    12. Behind the ‘Tartan Curtain’: Cartelisation in the Scotch Whisky Industry, 1830–1960

    Andrew Perchard and Niall G. MacKenzie

    International Cartels, Diplomacy and War

    13. The Congo Cartel: Governing Raw Materials Chains and Socio-Economic Stability 1918–1950

    Robrecht Declercq

    14. The German–Dutch ‘Cartel’ Relationship: Between Law and Business Practice, 1896–1958

    Eva Maria Roelevink

    15. International Politics and Cartels: Swedish Forest Industry Cartels During the Nazi Regime

    Birgit Karlsson

    16. Dancing with the Sun and the Dragon: International Coal Cartels in East Asia, 1916–1937

    Toshitaka Nagahiro and Yu Yamamoto

    17. Lessons From History: Insights from Historical Case Studies 

    Martin Shanahan and Susanna Fellman


    Martin Shanahan is a professor of Economic and Business History at the University of South Australia and Elof Hansson Visiting Professor in International Business and Trade at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

    Susanna Fellman is a professor of Business History, and the Torsten Söderberg and Ragnar Söderberg Chair in Business History at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.