Leniency Programs in Latin America: 'New' Tools for Cartel Enforcement

17 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2014 Last revised: 3 Oct 2014

See all articles by Elisa V. Mariscal

Elisa V. Mariscal

Centro de Investigación y Docencia Economica (CIDE); Global Economics Group

Carlos Mena-Labarthe

Government of Mexico - Comision Federal de Competencia; Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM)

Date Written: November 30, 2010

Abstract

The fight against cartels has become a central feature for many competition agencies. In Latin America, this fight is long overdue as the prevalence of cartels has historically harmed competition in both large and small markets. The introduction of immunity and leniency programs to fight hard-core cartels is an important challenge for many authorities in the region. They have to garner the necessary expertise to administer these programs, increasingly join and even cooperate with their international counterparts, and learn the nuances in their legal systems when implementing them and enforcing their competition legislation. Nonetheless, these programs have proven to be extremely effective, low-cost tools that have uncovered a number of cartels in a relatively short period of time.

We present some information on the differences among these programs in eight Latin American countries and discuss some of the advantages and challenges that each have faced in using this tool to investigate cartels. While we note that increases to monetary fines and sanctions would improve the effectiveness of these programs, we also believe that, on their own, there is room for leniency programs to grow and become more effective for antitrust agencies in Latin America.

Keywords: Cartels, Latin America, Leniency Programs

JEL Classification: K21, K41, K42, L41

Suggested Citation

Mariscal, Elisa V. and Mena-Labarthe, Carlos, Leniency Programs in Latin America: 'New' Tools for Cartel Enforcement (November 30, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2503583 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2503583

Elisa V. Mariscal (Contact Author)

Centro de Investigación y Docencia Economica (CIDE) ( email )

Mexico City
Mexico

Global Economics Group ( email )

1400 S. Dearborn, Suite 400
Chicago, IL 60603
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.globaleconomicsgroup.com

Carlos Mena-Labarthe

Government of Mexico - Comision Federal de Competencia ( email )

Av. Santa Fe 505, piso 24
Col. Cruz Manca Santa Fe
Mexico City, Mexico D.F. 05349
Mexico
525527896623 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.cofece.mx

Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) ( email )

Av. Camino a Sta. Teresa 930
Col. Héroes de Padierna
Mexico City, D.F. 01000, Federal District 01080
Mexico

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