Volume 30 (2007)

Volume 30 (2007) / Issue 1

WOUTER P.J. WILS, 'Leniency in Antitrust Enforcement: Theory and Practice' (2007) 30 World Competition, Issue 1, pp. 25–63


This article discusses the theory and practice of leniency in antitrust enforcement, i.e. the granting of

immunity from penalties or the reduction of penalties for antitrust violations in exchange for cooperation

with the antitrust enforcement authorities. After a description of the practice of leniency in the United

States and in the European Union, and of its history, the article analyses the positive effects and the

possible negative effects of leniency on optimal antitrust enforcement, and the extent to which these effects

can be measured. Objections of principle and institutional problems that may constitute obstacles to the

introduction of leniency policies are discussed, as well as some further issues, namely the impact on the

effectiveness of leniency of criminal penalties on individuals, of follow-on private damages actions, and of

penalties in other jurisdictions, ’’Amnesty Plus’’, and positive financial rewards or bounties.

Copyright © 2007 Kluwer Law International
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ISSN: 1011-4548
ID: WOCO2007003