DOJ Antitrust Division updates Leniency Program
On Monday, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division issued updated guidance on its Leniency Program. The program allows corporations and individuals involved in antitrust crimes to self-report and avoid criminal convictions and resulting fines and imprisonment. The Antitrust Division’s updated guidance emphasizes prompt reporting and remediation and serves as a reminder for corporate counsel of the importance of early detection of antitrust violations.
The DOJ’s Leniency Program
Under the Leniency Program, the first corporate or individual conspirator to confess participation in an antitrust crime, fully cooperate with the Antitrust Division, and meet all other conditions under DOJ policies receives leniency for the reported antitrust crime. The DOJ considers its Leniency Program central to its criminal antitrust enforcement efforts. Likewise, leniency applications can be a powerful tool to aid corporations and individuals involved in criminal antitrust activity.
Updates emphasize prompt reporting and remediation
The Antitrust Division’s new guidance clarifies certain points while reflecting heightened demands on leniency applicants. In particular, it requires leniency applicants to act promptly. Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter explained the Division’s increased focus on promptness, noting that “Corporate boards and executives, and the counsel advising them, should understand that sitting on their hands after detecting an antitrust crime will have real ramifications—losing out on leniency means severe consequences.”
The DOJ has not set a promptness standard; but the updated FAQs provide some guidance on promptness considerations, such as the circumstances surrounding the alleged activity and the company’s size and operational complexity.
The new guidance also addresses restitution requirements. It now requires companies to make “best efforts to make restitution to injured parties” instead of doing so “when possible,” as previously required.
Learn more about the Leniency Program’s implications for your business and other antitrust concerns and controls by contacting the authors or another member of the DLA Piper team.
For more information about best practices for detecting antitrust violations, visit our Aiscension page to learn about DLA Piper’s innovative artificial intelligence tools, or contact Lisa Tenorio-Kutzkey, Brian J. Boyle or Ilan Sherr.