Leave a cartel and get immunity from penalty payments
- Public service
As a rule, the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) refers all cartel infringements it detects to the Market Court. The amount of the penalty payment may be up to 10 per cent of the turnover of the undertaking that has participated in a cartel.
Under Section 14 of the Finnish Competition Act, the first undertaking to reveal a cartel to the FCCA is granted immunity from the penalty payment. An exemption from the penalty payment may be granted both before and after a surprise inspection conducted by the FCCA.
- If the FCCA has not launched an inspection, a participant in a cartel is exempted from the penalty payment, provided it submits a leniency statement as well as information and evidence on the grounds of which the FCCA can conduct an inspection.
- If the FCCA has already launched an inspection, granting an exemption from the penalty payment requires that the participant in the cartel submits a leniency statement as well as information and evidence on the basis of which the FCCA can establish an infringement.
The leniency statement, information and evidence must be submitted before the FCCA has obtained them from another source.
Cartel participants other than the first undertaking to have revealed the cartel to the FCCA may also benefit from cooperating with the FCCA. Penalty payments to other cartel participants are reduced if they submit a leniency statement as well as information and evidence that is significant for establishing the existence or the extent or nature of a restraint on competition before the FCCA obtains them from another source. The maximum reduction of the penalty payment in these cases is 50 per cent. The size of the discount depends on the time at which the information is submitted and the significance of the information for the investigation.
Do the following
The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority may be contacted anonymously, for example through a legal representative, in order to find out whether it is possible to obtain immunity from the penalty payment. The authority can then also provide advice on the procedure. An undertaking wishing to report their participation in a cartel to the FCCA can contact the FCCA by phone or email.
Read more: https://www.kkv.fi/en/leave-cartel
To whom and on what terms
An undertaking that has coerced another undertaking to participate in a cartel cannot be exempted from the penalty payment. A leading or initiating role in the cartel, however, is not necessarily in itself an obstacle to receiving immunity.
Condition for an exemption from or a discount on the penalty payment are that the undertaking:
- stops participating in the restraint on competition immediately after having filed an application with the FCCA for an exemption from or a discount on the penalty payment;
- cooperates with the FCCA during the entire investigation related to the restraint on competition;
- does not destroy any evidence falling under the scope of the application before or after filing the application; and
- keeps confidential the contents of the application and the fact that it has filed or is considering filing an application.
The service is free of charge.
Competition Act (948/2011)