Published on: October 22, 2023
Why in news? The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has released draft regulations under ‘leniency-plus’ regime
- The “Leniency Plus” regime was part of the Competition (Amendment) Act 2023, received Presidential assent in April 2023.
- This regime is already recognised in jurisdictions like the UK, US, Singapore and Brazil.
- Leniency programme (Current Competition Act 2002) allows companies that provide sufficient information about a cartel in which they have participated to receive partial immunity from penalty.
- It helps competition authorities to discover secret cartels and to obtain insider evidence of the infringement.
- CCI may impose a lesser penalty on a person involved in a cartel if such person has made a full and true disclosure in respect of alleged violations and such disclosure is vital.
What is ‘Leniency-plus’ regime?
- Under ‘Leniency Plus’, a cartelist who is cooperating with CCI for leniency, can disclose the existence of another cartel in an unrelated market in the course of original leniency proceedings in exchange for an additional reduction in penalty.
- Incentivise to disclosures regarding multiple cartels, thereby enabling the CCI to save time and resources on cartels investigation.
- It is a proactive antitrust enforcement strategy aimed at attracting leniency applications by encouraging companies already under investigation for one cartel to report other cartels unknown to the competition regulator.