Press Release

Mid-Year Global Cartel Report: Fines, Enforcement Actions and Cartel Cases Rise in 2018

July 24, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC, July 24, 2018: In the first half of 2018, global cartel fines far exceeded those issued by the same time in 2017, surging from $1.2 billion to $2.17 billion. The largest share of fines was concentrated in Europe followed by the Americas. Among these fines were record-setting penalties imposed by Australia, Singapore, and Egypt, which imposed a $316.2 million fine against four pharmaceutical companies for price fixing: the largest in the country’s history.

These developments, as well as other emerging and continuing trends, are highlighted in the Morgan Lewis Mid-Year 2018 Cartel Report. Produced by the firm’s leading antitrust and competition team, the comprehensive analysis outlines key enforcement and judicial developments and issues, including the following:

  • A growing enforcement focus on “no poaching” and wage fixing agreements in the United States, Hong Kong, and Japan
  • The current policy debate concerning the costs and burden of leniency programs in multiple jurisdictions
  • Enforcer questions about the use of algorithms in antitrust enforcement
  • Efforts by the US Department of Justice to extradite a United Kingdom citizen from Spain

Part of the world’s largest antitrust and competition practice of its kind, our cartel investigations and litigation team, which includes several former prosecutors and high-level enforcement agency officials, has been involved in nearly every major cartel investigation in the last 20 years. We defend companies, individuals, and independent boards and committees across the globe on every aspect of alleged cartel behavior, including in internal investigations, US and UK criminal representations, and multidistrict US class action litigation. We also handle European regulatory representations, European civil damages litigation, and coordinating representation before competition authorities across Asia and in Latin America.

Read the full report for notable cartel fines by region, including individual criminal penalties, a look at the first half of the year’s new investigations and cases, and important policy and judicial developments.