ASLI Working Paper Series

Publication Title The Hybridization of Competition Law Enforcement: Some Lessons from Japan’s introduction of The Leniency Program.
Publisher Asian Law Institute
Series WPS027
Publication Date Aug 2012
Author/Speaker Steven Van Uytsel
Japan has, with the adoption of a leniency program in 2005, caught up with an international trend in the enforcement of competition law. This paper looks into the effectiveness of this leniency program. This exercise is instigated by the fact that the Japan Fair Trade Commission was taking more decisions regarding cartels than it was in the years after the leniency program became effective. Furthermore, latest decision involving leniency applications show a tendency to focus on cartels in which the same firms are involved. Another remarkable trend is the disproportion between the applications for leniency and the number of firms receiving leniency. By borrowing concepts and theories of criminal law, both in a general and a Japan specific context, this paper argues that the, at first sight, lax attitude towards the leniency program may actually be productive in terms of enforcement of competition law.
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