The Interaction of Leniency Programmes and Actions for Damages

43 Pages Posted: 10 Oct 2011 Last revised: 12 Jan 2014

Date Written: October 10, 2011


Although leniency programmes and damages actions, at least to a certain extent, serve the same purpose of increasing compliance with the competition rules, an increasing number of damages actions risk undermining national and EU leniency programmes, because the risk of follow-on damages actions may discourage potential leniency applicants from coming forward. To increase the successful co-existence of leniency programmes and damages actions, the law can interfere at two stages: it can prevent disclosure of leniency applications and it can decrease the risk or the amount of damages to be paid by leniency recipients. This contribution will explain the current rules on these matters and analyse a number of proposals for reform. The analysis will result in a suggestion to introduce at EU level a regime to improve the procedural position of the leniency recipient in proceedings for cartel damages based on the Hungarian model.

Keywords: competition law, private enforcement, leniency, access to file

JEL Classification: K21, L40

Suggested Citation

Cauffman, Caroline, The Interaction of Leniency Programmes and Actions for Damages (October 10, 2011). Maastricht Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2011/34. Final version published as Cauffman, C. (2011). The Interrelationship between Leniency and Damages Actions. Competition Law Review, 181-220., Available at SSRN:

Caroline Cauffman (Contact Author)

Maastricht University ( email )

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, 6200MD

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