U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division updates its Leniency Program
27 April 2022
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently revised its Antitrust Division Leniency Policy and Procedures and has published updated guidance in the form of FAQs.
Since its formalization in 1993, the Antitrust Division’s corporate leniency policy has been a mainstay of its criminal enforcement program. Companies that discovered anti-competitive behavior in their ranks rushed to report their wrongdoing to the Antitrust Division, hoping to be first in the door and thereby receive near-certain amnesty for the company and all cooperating employees. But there has been a multi-year downward trend in fine levels and companies coming forward to report criminal antitrust violations.
Seeking to revitalize its leniency program, the Division has revised its policy and expanded the FAQs to provide greater “transparency, predictability, and tangible benefits” to the leniency process. Although details continue to emerge, the Antitrust Division appears to be formally readjusting its policy focus from one based on leniency alone to one that more fully incentivizes compliance and cooperation, in line with DOJ practice more broadly.
We’ve prepared a briefing on the important changes to be aware of.