There is no doubt that the introduction of amnesty or leniency programs in an increasing number of jurisdictions has been an important step in the fight against cartels. The majority of cartels that have been fined over the last 10 to 15 years have come to the attention of the relevant authorities via applications for lenient treatment.
Over the years, many companies confronted with the possible liability and very negative fall-out of being involved in a cartel (such as high fines and “jail time” for individuals), have chosen to confess and hand in evidence of illegal conduct to the authorities in exchange of lenient treatment. In particular for listed companies, an application for lenient treatment was “the right thing to do” in the context of damage control that could lead to no or reduced fines and jail time. In addition, cooperating with authorities and confessing illegal conduct was considered to be acting as a “good corporate citizen”.
This article has been published in Competition Law & Policy Debate 2015, 1, 14-15.
Read the full article.