ACCC’s leniency policy for cartel conduct

ACCC has released its new leniency policy for cartel conduct which will apply to applications from 5 September 2005.

For eligible applicants the Immunity Policy will:

  • provide automatic full immunity to the first person who self
    reports his or her involvement in a cartel up until the point where the
    ACCC has legal advice that it has enough evidence. Under the former
    policy, full immunity was only available if the ACCC was unaware of the
    cartel when the participant self reported
  • implement a ‘marker’ system allowing potential applicants to secure
    their place in the immunity queue while they complete internal
  • remove the requirement for immunity applications to be in writing
  • provide that where a corporation qualifies for immunity the default
    position is that all current and former employees will also have
  • clarify that if the first to apply for immunity is unable or
    unwilling to meet all the requirements for immunity, a subsequent
    applicant may still qualify for immunity. This will maximise the
    incentive for applicants to cooperate fully with the ACCC, and
  • clarify that the ACCC may, in appropriate cases, approach an
    individual cartel participant about the availability of immunity.

The ACCC has also issued a guideline to assist the interpretation of
the Immunity Policy and a position paper on the issues arising from the
use of leniency in cartel investigations.

The policy will not apply to cartel ringleaders.

It also does not apply to other competition offences.

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