De Economist

, Volume 166, Issue 1, pp 111–134 | Cite as

Sanctions and Leniency to Individuals, and its Impact on Cartel Discoveries: Evidence from the Netherlands



Many competition authorities employ a leniency programme to fight cartels. We examine the impact of the introduction of sanctions and leniency for individuals responsible for the cartel, on the number of cartel discoveries. In our empirical study of the Dutch leniency programme, we find that this did not lead to more cartels being desisted as the number of cartel discoveries decreases over time. An analysis of characteristics of cartel members shows harsher enforcement after the revision, which indicates that the decrease in cartel discoveries is in line with higher cartel deterrence. Nevertheless, the number of cartel cases involving leniency actually decreases after the revision.


Cartels Leniency programme Individual sanctions Antitrust 

JEL Classification

D43 L12 L13 L41 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Chief Economist Office of the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM)The HagueThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Charles River Associates (CRA) InternationalBrusselsBelgium

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