Summary: Dorsey attorneys Michael Lindsay, Ed Magarian, Bill Michael and James Nichols analyze in The Antitrust Source the U.S. Justice Department Corporate Antitrust Leniency Program. Under the program, antitrust violators can avoid all criminal penalties for antitrust violations, as long as the company complies with its obligations under a leniency agreement reached with the Department's Antitrust Division. The procedure came under scrutiny when the Justice Department unsuccessfully sought to revoke leniency for a Luxembourg shipping company in United States v. Stolt-Nielsen S.A.
Lindsay et al. suggest that, despite Stolt-Nielsen, the program's benefits to companies and the Antitrust Division will ensure that corporations continue to apply for and receive leniency for antitrust violations. For companies facing multi-million dollar fines and prison terms for their executives, immunity from criminal penalties is a tremendous inducement. For its part, the Antitrust Division has described the program as "its most effective investigative tool" resulting in "scores of convictions and nearly $4 billion in criminal fines."
"To Cooperate or Not: The Corporate Leniency Program After Stolt-Nielsen" was published in the February 2008 edition of The Antitrust Source. Republished with permission.