With its Leniency PLUS+ concept CDC offers cartel members a way to reduce their risk exposure regarding cartel damage actions. Analogously to public leniency programs, CDC’s innovative solution for private damage claims is developed to provide incentives to cartel members to cooperate in the private enforcement process.
The European Commission’s leniency program for example offers either totoal immunity from fines or a reduction of fines for companies involved in a cartel which blow the whistle or provide evidence about the functioning of a cartel. This disclosure of evidence enables the Commission to lift the vale of secrecy in which cartels operate and allows access to insider information on the infringement to the benefit of customers.
Similarly under CDC’s Leniency PLUS+ concept, a cooperating cartel member typically, beyond paying a discounted compensation, provides information and data that facilitate the enforcement of antitrust damage claims against other members of the respective cartel. An essential aspect may be the commitment of CDC not to enforce claims against cooperating cartel members which are usually jointly and severally liable for the damage caused by the cartel.
As CDC purchases cartel-related damage claims from a multitude of damaged companies, CDC is able to bundle a large part of claims to which individual cartelists could potentially be exposed. In the end, cartel members might even benefit twice if they decide to cooperate under both the public immunity programs and the CDC Leniency PLUS+ concept.