This article argues that corporations may be taking advantages of supply chain bottlenecks and shortages to collude and raise prices illegally. Although price fixing is illegal, the current levels of penalties are far too low. This gives firms an incentive to collude. Before the pandemic, when inflation was low, consumers and the antitrust enforcers would have been more likely to notice any sudden price increases and investigate whether they were caused by collusion. But using bottlenecks and shortages as cover, companies can take advantage of their years of consolidation and collude more easily with less chance of it being detected. Thus, anticompetitive activity, including price fixing, is likely to be caused by the current supply chain bottlenecks and shortages, and thus be contributing to inflation.
Robert H. Lande,
Megacorporations are jacking up prices 'because they can,' pushing red-hot inflation to historic levels,
Available at: https://scholarworks.law.ubalt.edu/all_fac/1137