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A Critique of Partial Leniency for Cartels
by the U.S. Department of Justice

John M. Connor

Purdue University; American Antitrust Institute (AAI)

This paper models a key outcome of secret negotiations: partial-leniency fine discounts from plea bargaining in criminal price-fixing cases. Models tested explain up to 52% of variation in percentage discounts. A minor portion is explained by such defendants characteristics as the defendants rank in queue and delay in settling. Most variation is explained by cartel characteristics. International conspiracies, global cartels, and bid-rigging schemes are granted lower percentage than domestic price-fixing. Discounts were higher in the Bush II than in the Clinton administration. Participants in durable conspiracies are rewarded with larger discounts, but more severe treatment of recidivists cannot be detected.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 58

Keywords: antitrust, cartel, price fixing, deterrence, penalties, fines, discounts, Department of Justice

JEL Classification: K21, K14, L41, L44, L65, L11, L13, N60

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Date posted: April 6, 2007 ; Last revised: June 9, 2008

Suggested Citation

Connor, John M., A Critique of Partial Leniency for Cartels by the U.S. Department of Justice. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=977772 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.977772

Contact Information

John M. Connor (Contact Author)
Purdue University ( email )
610 Purdue Mall
West Lafayette, IN 47906
United States
+1 317-733-1938 (Phone)
American Antitrust Institute (AAI)
1730 Rhode Island Avenue, NW
Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20036
United States
202-536-3408 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.antitrustinstitute.com
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