Since the highs in 2015 and 2016, leniency applications apparently have been on a decline. This is particularly the case for large, multi-jurisdictional international cartels. Many theories could explain this decline, including the increased cost in pursuing cross-border leniency applications without a guarantee of equal treatment; the chilling effect of civil damages; the effectiveness of cartel enforcement has increased deterrence; or that tacit collusion in a digital economy has replaced tradition cartel activity. This paper considers these theories and contemplates what the right incentives are for a robust cartel enforcement framework.
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