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It serves as an example of state entanglement in anticompetitive conduct.
Many trade associations, especially in industries dominated by only a few major companies, have been accused of being fronts for cartels or facilitating secret meetings among cartel members.
"With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! " WTI oil prices hit a three-year high above a barrel this week and were still trading above on Friday.
There have also been reports lately that Saudi Arabia, the key member of the cartel, wants oil at to 0 a barrel in order to boost the eventual initial public offering of its state oil company, Saudi Aramco.
Cartels usually occur in oligopolies, where there are a small number of sellers and usually involve homogeneous products.
In general, cartels can be divided into domestic and international agreements.
Publicly-known cartels that do not follow this cycle include, by some accounts, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). When the agreement to control price is sanctioned by a multilateral treaty or protected by national sovereignty, no antitrust actions may be initiated.
Examples of such price fixing include oil whose price is partly controlled by the supply by OPEC countries. et al., it cited the testimony of individuals, who cited that a cartel, in its protean form, is "a combination of producers for the purpose of regulating production and, frequently, prices, and an association by agreement of companies or sections of companies having common interests so as to prevent extreme or unfair competition." Today, however, price fixing by private entities is illegal under the antitrust laws of more than 140 countries.