A cartel means, an agreement or concerted practice between two or more competitors which could be formal or informal, written or unwritten, enforceable by law or not, which is intended to coordinate their competitive behavior in the market, or to influence significant parameters of competition through practices. It also includes the fixing or coordination of purchase prices or sale prices, or other transaction terms, including the fixing or coordination of intellectual property rights, or provision of sales quotas on production or sales, the allocation of markets and customers, including bid-rigging, the restrictions on imports or exports or unfair competition actions, to the detriment of other competitors.
The Leniency Programme (Immunity from and Reduction of Administrative Fines in cases of Restrictive Collusions Infringing Section 3 of the Law or/and Article 101 of the TFEU (Leniency Programme) Regulations, of 2022 (P.I. 442/2022)) is the legal framework that defines the leniency or full exemption from administrative fines of an undertaking wishing to cooperate with the Commission for the Protection of Competition to uncover illegal cartels, which are prohibited by Section 3 of the Protection of Competition Law and Article 101 of the Treaty for the Functioning of the EU.
The Leniency Programme basically codifies the procedure, the conditions and the criteria for granting an exemption or reduction of the administrative fine imposed by the Commission for the Protection of Competition to an undertaking or association of undertakings.
If you are an undertaking which has been involved in a cartel, the Leniency Programme of the Commission for the Protection of Competition offers you the chance for an exemption or reduction of the administrative fine, provided that you reveal your participation in the cartel, provide
evidence and cooperate with the Commission, fully, honestly and continuously, as prescribed by the conditions laid down in the Regulation.