Summary: Dorsey attorneys Michael Lindsay, Ed Magarian, Bill Michael and James Nichols analyze in Competition Law 360 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" and "a model for similar corporate leniency programs ... adopted by antitrust authorities around the world."
"The High Price Of Leniency For Stolt-Nielsen" was published in Competition Law 360, May 9, 2008. Republished with permission.