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Leniency and Damages

Catarina Marvao (), Giancarlo Spagnolo and Paolo Buccirossi ()
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Paolo Buccirossi: LEAR, Postal: LEAR, Via di Monserrato, 48, 00186 Rome, ITALY

No 32, SITE Working Paper Series from Stockholm School of Economics, Stockholm Institute of Transition Economics

Abstract: Modern antitrust engenders a possible conflict between public and private enforcement due to the central role of Leniency Programs. Damage actions may reduce the attractiveness of Leniency Programs for cartel participants if their cooperation with the competition authority increases the chance that the cartel’s victims will bring a successful suit. A long legal debate culminated in a EU directive, adopted in November 2014, which seeks a balance between public and private enforcement. It protects the e ffectiveness of a Leniency Program by preventing the use of leniency statements in subsequent actions for damages and by limiting the liability of the immunity recipient to its direct and indirect purchasers. Our analysis shows such compromise is not required: limiting the cartel victims’ ability to recover their loss is not necessary to preserve the eff ectiveness of a Leniency Program and may be counterproductive. We show that damage actions will actually improve its eff ectiveness, through a legal regime in which the civil liability of the immunity recipient is minimized (as in Hungary) and full access to all evidence collected by the competition authority, including leniency statements, is granted to claimants (as in the US).

Keywords: Private and public enforcement; cartels; competition policy; Leniency Program (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C72 C73 D43 D81 H11 K21 K42 L13 L44 L51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 27 pages
Date: 2015-02-13, Revised 2016-01-13
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-com, nep-gth, nep-ind and nep-law
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