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Competition Law

Analysis - debate - current awareness

27 OCT 2011

OFT consults on updated penalty and leniency guidance

The OFT is consulting on two revised guidance documents on penalties and leniency.

In its draft penalty guidance, the OFT proposes a number of changes to the way it sets penalties in competition cases.  A key aspect of the new proposals is increasing the maximum starting point for penalty calculations to 30% of relevant turnover.  The OFT also proposes to introduce a new specific step at which it will consider whether the penalty is proportionate.  Other proposals include making explicit that the turnover used for calculating the penalty starting point will be based on the last business year before the infringement ended, clarifying the stage at which leniency and settlement discounts are applied, and confirming the OFT’s policy on compliance discounts.

In its draft leniency guidance, additional detail is provided on the procedure for applying for leniency, the scope of leniency protection and the expected level of cooperation required from leniency participants.  The OFT proposes that it will not request waivers of legal professional privilege in civil cases but cannot exclude the possibility in some criminal cases.

Final versions of both guidance documents will be produced in Spring 2012.

http://www.oft.gov.uk/news-and-updates/press/2011/116-11

Claire Brinn

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