The Cartel Offence Within a “World Class” Competition Regime: An Assessment of the Bis Consultation Exercise and its Results

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Series Details Volume 8, Number 3, Pages 573-588
Publication Date September 2012
ISSN 1744-1056
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"This article is structured as follows: in the next section, I outline what I view to be the Consultation’s failings in its exclusive focus on public enforcement as the means of improving the UK’s competition regime. In Section C, I examine the “tweaks” to the Cartel Offence introduced as a result of the Consultation. These tweaks, I argue, do not represent a net improvement to the regime, and rather than enhancing the effectiveness of the new offence, may impede its efficacy. In Section D, I examine the deterrent effect of the new offense. I argue that, in the absence of any discussion of enhancements either to penalties to the offence and/or to the resources provided to agencies whose mandate it is to enforce the new prohibition, the revised offence provides little additional deterrent. What little deterrence the offence might have added could have been supplemented by improvements to (or better integration of) a leniency programme, or the addition of a plea-bargaining regime. Yet those alternatives were glossed over."
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