New: Cartel Leniency & Immunity: The Mysterious Case of the Missing Markers

The European Commission introduced in its 2006 revision of the Leniency programme the concept of ‘marker’ which is a temporary protection for potential leniency applicants while they prepare a full leniency application. The object of the marker is to grant companies some predictability on the level of immunity they will obtain once they submit the full application and to induce earlier leniency applications by inducing competition between potential applicants. However, the marker system is not actually being used in the case of complex cartels where the Commission is unable to establish criteria to implement it. The solution in these cases is not to skip the marker system but to improve it to make it effective.

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