A PYMNTS Company

Leniency Policies: Revolution or Religion? (Introduction)

 |  August 21, 2019

By Caron Beaton-Wells (Melbourne Law School)

Deterring, detecting and prosecuting cartel conduct is a high priority for competition authorities worldwide. This conduct involves various forms of agreement, arrangement or practice between competitors that eliminate or subvert processes of competition and thereby have the potential to increase prices, reduce consumer choice and stifle innovation. Cartel conduct is widely seen as in the category of anti-competitive conduct most harmful to consumer and economic welfare. Serious or so-called ‘hard-core’ cartels usually involve secrecy and deception by participants, with the deliberate aim of avoiding discovery. They are therefore difficult to detect and, as documentary evidence is rarely available, difficult to prosecute even when detected. Such activity is also often highly lucrative. It is therefore problematic to deter, even in the face of the toughest sanctions.

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