By Tara L. Reinhart –
Many companies avail themselves of the Antitrust Division’s “leniency plus” policy. Leniency plus allows companies pleading guilty to price-fixing of one product to receive a significantly reduced fine if, at the same time, they obtain leniency for reporting illegal conduct related to one or more additional products. The benefits are significant, but companies taking advantage of leniency plus also face risks. First, the burdens of cooperation can be immense, and companies must be prepared to pay significant time and expense. Second, companies must do what they can to avoid “penalty plus.” Finally, the reality that employees often will obtain leniency for price-fixing of some products but face prosecution for others greatly complicates the company’s efforts. This article explores those risks.