THE 2023 OECD GLOBAL FORUM ON COMPETITION WILL DISCUSS ALTERNATIVES TO LENIENCY PROGRAMMES
Leniency applications are often perceived as the primary or only method to detect cartels. Many competition authorities, however, do not have leniency programmes or their programmes are not sufficiently effective, yet they still successfully identify cartel activities.
Authorities’ detection toolboxes should include other reactive methods, such as complaints and whistleblowing programmes, as well as proactive detection tools, relying on the use of economics, national and international case analysis and industry monitoring, agency co-operation, and advanced technology-led screens.
This session was an opportunity to explore in depth alternatives to leniency programmes, namely reactive and proactive detection tools.
Key takeways include:
- Innovative cartel detection methods, including public awareness campaigns and collaboration with diverse authorities, prove effective in fostering community awareness and enhancing competition authorities' ability to uncover cartels.
- Co-ordinating various detection methods, addressing information reliability, and managing potential conflicts pose inherent challenges in implementing alternative approaches to cartel detection. Using a mix of detection tools is crucial to overcoming these challenges effectively.
- A successful leniency programme thrives when integrated into a mix of detection tools and a smart use of sanctions. Authorities should strategically employ a diverse set of methods to detect cartels, reinforcing leniency and ensuring a comprehensive approach to antitrust enforcement.
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From Globalisation to Regionalisation
Evidence gathering in cartel investigations
Ex-post assessment of merger remedies
See also the full list of OECD best practice roundtables on competition