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European and American Leniency Programmes: Two Models Towards Convergence?

Nicolo Zingales

Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC)


Competition Law Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2008

This paper compares the different approach that United States and Europe have embraced in designing their Leniency programme. The analysis first explains the rationale underlying such programme, sketching the economic principles on which it rests. It follows highlighting those crucial features that call for the utmost care in the design of the programme, and giving some recommendations by describing policies that should be embraced by the ideal Leniency programme. It recognizes, though, that each of the legal systems considered would need time and efforts to adapt to the innovations suggested, and therefore urges not to set too far-reaching objectives. It concludes, in contrast, that the key driver should be that of gradual harmonization toward the most efficient model. In assessing under the perspective of rational consequent behaviour for cartel members which programme has established better incentives to push them forward, the article concludes envisaging a gradual shift toward the US model: some arguments throughout the paper will hint at the suggestion that the inclusion of a restitution obligation and the involvement of individuals, amongst other factors, should inspire the future actions of EU legislators.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 56

Keywords: Leniency Programme, cartel, fines

JEL Classification: D71, D73, D78, K21, K42

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Date posted: March 7, 2008 ; Last revised: October 15, 2013

Suggested Citation

Zingales, Nicolo, European and American Leniency Programmes: Two Models Towards Convergence? (2008). Competition Law Review, Vol. 5, No. 1, 2008. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1101803

Contact Information

Nicolo Zingales (Contact Author)
Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) ( email )
Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
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