The Leniency Programme – articles 75 to 82 of Law No. 19/2012, of 8 of May (1) – sets the legal framework for granting immunity from fines and for reduction of fines to undertakings in administrative proceedings concerning the infringement of national and European competition rules.
The Leniency Programme sets out a special legal framework for granting full or partial immunity from fines in proceedings for infringement of competition rules under article 9 of the Competition Act (Law No. 19/2012, of 8 of May) and article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. In accordance with article 75 of Law No. 19/2012, of 8 of May, immunity from fines or a reduction of fines shall be granted in administrative offence proceedings concerning agreements or concerted practices between two or more undertakings, prohibited pursuant to article 9 of Law No. 19/2012, of 8 of May and, if applicable, pursuant to article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, where such agreements or practices are aimed at coordinating their competitive behaviour on the market or influencing relevant parameters of competition, specifically through the fixing of purchase or selling price or other trading conditions, the allocation of production or sales quotas, the sharing of markets, including collusion in auctions and bid-rigging in public procurement, restrictions on imports or exports or anti-competitive actions against other competitors. The Leniency Programme is an important instrument in the fight against cartels, in particular agreements and concerted practices between two or more undertakings aimed at restricting competition, namely by fixing prices, sharing markets, allocation of production quotas and bid-rigging. By rewarding the cooperation of undertakings involved in such practices, the Leniency Programme is fundamental in the detection of cartels, and it has been adopted, in one way or another, by most countries in the European Union.The Leniency Programme sets the conditions undertakings will have to satisfy in order to qualify for leniency when reporting to the Competition Authority any agreements and concerted practices in which they are or have been involved; subject to evaluation, undertakings may be granted full immunity or a reduction not exceeding 50% of the total amount of the fine.For information on the European Commission (Directorate General for Competition) Leniency Programme, follow these links (1) (2).