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A cartel is a group of similar, independent companies which join together to fix prices, to limit production or to share markets or customers between them. Cartelists can also collude on product quality or innovation. Action against cartels is a specific type of antitrust enforcement. Instead of competing with each other, cartel members rely on one another’s agreed course of action, which reduces their incentives to provide new or better products and services at competitive prices.

Article 101 TFEU prohibits anti-competitive agreements between two or more independent market operators.