The Antitrust Division’s Corporate Leniency Program has existed in its current form since August 1993. Over the past 25 years, the cartel enforcement landscape has changed in many ways—from the expanding number of jurisdictions that have adopted similar leniency policies, to the increasingly sophisticated tools the Division and its law enforcement colleagues are able to marshal in pursuit of cartelists, and the increased penalties that those who violate the antitrust laws face.
Despite all the changes over the past quarter century, the Corporate Leniency Program has remained a constant. The Program (and its counterpart for individual leniency applicants) has been an incredible success in deterring and detecting antitrust crimes—and has served as the model for similar programs across the globe—in no small part because of the Antitrust Division’s consistent commitment to administering the program with predictability and transparency. Companies and individuals that are considering applying for leniency know what it is, what the requirements are, and how the policies will be applied to their particular circumstances. That has not changed in 25 years, and it is one of the reasons that leniency remains such an effective tool.
The Antitrust Division is committed to continuing this important work. It is also constantly seeking to identify new and innovative ways to make the Leniency Program even more effective, while at the same time ensuring that transparency and predictability is maintained. To commemorate the Leniency Program’s 25-year anniversary this August, the Antitrust Division plans to host a public event to reflect on the history of leniency and discuss its future.