The Antitrust Division’s Corporate Leniency Program

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Criminal antitrust violations differ from most corporate criminal violations in that they require agreements among multiple parties. In a criminal antitrust violation, several competitors collude to fix prices, rig bids, or otherwise limit free and fair competition in the marketplace. Criminal antitrust activity is inherently difficult to detect and to prosecute without the cooperation of at least one participant in the cartel. The involvement of multiple parties in the criminal activity creates a unique opportunity that the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice has long seized upon: the ability to create an incentive structure that encourages self-reporting.