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Multi-Jurisdictional Leniency Applications and the Deterring Effect on Leniency

Ruben Korsten


Keywords: antitrust enforcement, cartels, information sharing, international cooperation, leniency

Since pioneering work of Choi Gerlach in 2012, not much game theoretical literature has followed to address issues of global cartel formation and international antitrust enforcement. This article addresses this gap, especially with regards to multi-jurisdictional leniency applications. It is found that multi-jurisdictional leniency applications expose international cartel leniency applicants to various risks and have high transaction costs. Therefore, the effectiveness of domestic programmes depends on the possibility of obtaining leniency in other jurisdictions. If an applicant can simultaneously count with leniency in all relevant jurisdictions, the attractiveness of leniency should increase, as the overall benefits for the applicant will be greater. However, if applying for leniency leads to leniency in some jurisdictions but certain penalties in others, this will disincentivise the use of leniency, which would make international cartels more stable. This article thus demonstrates the need for international cooperation in order for leniency policies to be effective.
Keywords: antitrust enforcement; cartels; information sharing; international cooperation; leniency

Ruben Korsten, LLM, Msc, Phd Researcher and Assistant at Ghent University, Belgium. For correspondence: <>. The author would like to thank Carlos Uribe, Roger Van den Bergh, Andrea Giannaccari, Ben Depoorter, Nils Smeuninx, Floris Mertens, Mario Torres and the anonymous peer reviewers of CoRe for helpful discussion and suggestions.


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