A Study of Exclusionary Coalitions: The Canadian Sugar Coalition, 1888–1889
In this paper we examine exclusion accomplished by a coalition of firms—frequently, a coalition of suppliers and customers—that share the benefits of exclusion. As a particular historical example, we study the Canadian sugar industry of the 1880s, which was controlled by a complex coalition of refiners and wholesalers. We assess the incentives and conduct of the parties as revealed in the records of a House of Commons inquiry into anticompetitive practices in the industry. Drawing upon this example, we identify and evaluate several doctrinal approaches to establishing antitrust liability for anticompetitive exclusionary coalitions.
We thank El Hadi Caoui, Jingyi Huang, Steve Salop, and Marius Schwartz for helpful discussions and comments. Daniel Lifton, Stephen Rettger, Catalina Villalobos, and Adam Winer provided outstanding research assistance. Financial support for this work was received from NYU School of Law and UCLA's Department of Economics. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.