Press Release

Morgan Lewis: Global Cartel Fines Rebound to $6.1 Billion in 2019

February 28, 2020

WASHINGTON, DC and LONDON, February 28, 2020: Morgan Lewis’s annual Global Cartel Enforcement Report finds that global cartel fine totals rebounded in 2019. At $6.1 billion, the fine level reached its highest point last year since 2016. Most of the increased fines, $4.6 billion, came from Europe, which accounted for more than three-quarters of the fines issued globally. The United States levied $220.8 million in fines last year, a decrease from 2018 and still substantially below historical norms.

These developments and more are highlighted in the annual report, which was produced by members of Morgan Lewis’s antitrust and competition practice. Among the findings:

  • Domestic cartel enforcement activity was high, with the EU member states, South Korea, and Japan accounting for the most activity.
  • Significant fines were imposed in international cartel cases, including a blockbuster fine imposed by the European Union on various financial institutions.
  • Enforcement authorities are developing new tools and programs to discover and prosecute cartels.

Read the full report for more on notable cartel fines by region and important policy decisions.

As part of one of the largest antitrust and competition practice in the world, Morgan Lewis’s global cartel investigations and litigation team includes several former prosecutors and high-level enforcement agency officials. The team, which has been involved in nearly every major cartel investigation in the last 20 years, defends 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. The team also handles European regulatory representations, European civil damages litigation, and coordinating representation before competition authorities across Asia and Latin America.