Cartel Prosecution and Leniency Programs: Corporate versus Individual Leniency
The paper explores the interdependencies between corporate and individual leniency programs. In a duopoly model where corporations are separated into representing owners and operating managers, conflicts between the two types of agents arise if the relative benefits of participating in the corresponding leniency programs differ. As an example of what might cause differing relative benefits, the paper considers the inclusion of damage payments for owners which are not covered by the corporate leniency program. The main findings are: (1) Individual leniency applications are never observed. (2) Threats by managers to apply for individual leniency may, however, increase the owners’ incentive to carry out corporate self-reports. (3) In other cases, the individual leniency program increases the owners’ tolerance for cartel activity for two reasons: Either the corporate leniency program is sufficiently unattractive to the owners, or the owners rely on the option to apply for corporate leniency after the Antitrust Authority has opened a case. (4) Finally, the more distortion decreases, the more ineffective the individual leniency program becomes.
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