Incentivizing Private Antitrust Enforcement to Promote Leniency Applications: A Case Study of the United Kingdom

73 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2022 Last revised: 20 Jul 2022

See all articles by Sinchit Lai

Sinchit Lai

City University of Hong Kong (CityU) - School of Law

Date Written: 2022

Abstract

Many jurisdictions around the world are promoting private antitrust enforcement. However, currently, the dominant view is that private actions discourage leniency application, an important source for antitrust authorities to detect and combat cartels. Such a view hinders the development of private enforcement. In a separate theoretical work, based on a game theory model created by Professor Joseph E. Harrington, I discovered that private enforcement does not always have a negative impact on leniency application. Further, I argue that, instead, private enforcement, when used “properly,” could serve as a tool to promote leniency application. The current article offers a case study to support the theoretical work. To do so, I studied the 2014 Consumer Rights Bill in the U.K. which partly aimed at promoting private actions. Using Germany as the control group, I have conducted a difference-in-difference analysis and found around a 50% rise in leniency application in the U.K. following the introduction of said bill.

Keywords: Antitrust Law, Private Enforcement, Leniency Program, United Kingdom, Germany, Difference-in-difference

JEL Classification: K21, K42, L41

Suggested Citation

Lai, Sinchit, Incentivizing Private Antitrust Enforcement to Promote Leniency Applications: A Case Study of the United Kingdom (2022). Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law, Vol. 38, No. 3, 2022, City University of Hong Kong School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2022-017, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4121128

Sinchit Lai (Contact Author)

City University of Hong Kong (CityU) - School of Law ( email )

Room 6101,Li Dak Sum Yip Yio Chin Academic Build
83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong
Hong Kong
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