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Skadden Discusses DOJ Leniency Program Updates

Warren Feldman et al., CLS Blue Sky Blog, March 6, 2017

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The Department of Justice released updated guidance on the Antitrust Division’s Leniency Program, on January 17, 2017. The Leniency Program allows corporations and individuals who self-report their cartel activity and cooperate in the Antitrust Division’s investigation of the cartel to avoid criminal conviction, fines and prison sentences. The program has become an important tool for the Division in its investigation and prosecution of criminal cartel activity. In 2008, the Division issued “Frequently Asked Questions Regarding the Antitrust Division’s Leniency Program and Model Leniency Letters” to provide guidance to individuals and corporations seeking to utilize the program. In one of the last acts of the outgoing Obama Administration, the DOJ revised the Frequently Asked Questions to provide greater clarity to potential participants and bring the guidance in line with the DOJ’s current practices. This alert addresses several major changes. The changes in the new FAQs reflect the fact that there is no longer the same degree of predictability of a favorable outcome for a putative corporate leniency applicant and its present and former employees.

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