Press Release

Morgan Lewis 2016 Mid-Year Global Cartel Enforcement Report: Record Fines; Activity Expected to Remain Brisk into 2017

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Washington, DC, September 13, 2016: Global cartel fines remain on pace to match or exceed last year’s total, and enforcement activity is expected to be brisk into 2017. This is a key finding of the Morgan Lewis 2016 Mid-Year Global Cartel Enforcement Report, a comprehensive, semiannual analysis of global cartel enforcement and civil litigation conducted by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and competition agencies across the globe. The report, produced by Morgan Lewis’s Global Antitrust and Competition group, examines trends in compliance programs and corporate criminal liability.

Cartel fines in the early part of 2016 were significantly lower than in 2015 for the United States, though the DOJ promises to be particularly busy over the next year in criminal antitrust trials. In July, the European Commission imposed the largest fine ever in a single cartel case that did not involve allegations of other legal violations. In a series of cases focusing primarily on domestic cartels, South Korea, Japan, and India were particularly active in the early part of 2016, imposing fines totaling billions of dollars. This year, as in past years, global fine totals are driven by a handful of large cases.

The report also points to a focus on domestic cartel conduct in 2016, with substantial resources being devoted to prosecuting various individual cases. More and more countries have criminalized cartel conduct, increasing the risks of extradition for individuals in global investigations. Enforcement authorities throughout the world continue to forge closer ties amidst the increase, executing formal cooperation agreements and working together on cartel investigations.

To learn more, read the full Morgan Lewis 2016 Mid-Year Global Cartel Enforcement Report.