Leniency Will Remain an Essential Part of The EU’s Cartel Enforcement Toolkit

By Alexandros Papanikolaou – 

This contribution offers thoughts on the evolving debate in antitrust circles on a perceived decline in the numbers of leniency applications for cartel infringements in major jurisdictions, and in particular the EU. Leniency has obvious benefits for companies and leniency programs in Europe have produced many examples of successful enforcement, but there is increasing attention on whether certain factors are affecting how companies and their lawyers weigh incentives with regard to self-reporting cartel behavior. While the question of whether to self-report may be more complicated than before, a failure to report cartel conduct can allow the harm to continue even if the company ceases its participation. Enforcers should contemplate measures to deter companies from concealing cartel conduct in the hope that infringements become time-barred.

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