The procedure applicable to the leniency process is set out below, however, this may vary depending on the circumstances of each case and/or discussions with the leniency applicant.
The Commission’s Corporate Leniency Policy (CLP) offers a cartel member the possibility to disclose information on a cartel to the Commission in return for immunity from prosecution and fines. Immunity is only available to the first cartel member to approach the Commission. If other cartel members wish to come clean on their involvement in the same cartel, the Commission will also encourage such cooperation outside the scope of the CLP, which can eventually result in a reduction in the fine to be paid in a settlement agreement. Any member of a cartel can apply for leniency and must comply with the requirements set out in the CLP. In particular, this means that a firm applying for leniency must be the first to provide full and complete information concerning the cartel. The information must be sufficient to allow the Commission to institute proceedings against the cartel members and the applicant must cooperate fully and truthfully with the Commission. The applicant is also required to cease participating in the cartel and not to alert other cartel members to its application. If the conditions of the CLP are met, the Commission will grant the applicant conditional immunity which means that, provided all the conditions of the CLP continue to be met throughout the competition proceedings, the applicant will receive total immunity from prosecution and fines. To apply, a cartel member must send an application to the Enforcement and Exemptions Division of the Commission by email, fax or hand delivery (see paragraph 11 of CLP for relevant address and numbers). The application must contain information substantial enough to allow the Commission to identify the cartel conduct and its members.