Under new guidance, companies with antitrust compliance programs might see leniency from the U.S. Department of Justice in federal investigations, even if they fail to prevent an antitrust violation.
The DOJ’s antitrust division announced a policy change July 11, stating it will consider giving companies leniency at the charging stage of a criminal antitrust probe. That change will be reflected in the DOJ’s Justice Manual and includes detailed guidance for prosecutors on what counts as a “good-faith” antitrust compliance program. This development gives companies more opportunity for leniency as well as a road map for how they might get it.
In a press release, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim said the antitrust division “is committed to re- warding corporate efforts to invest in and instill a culture of compliance.” Corporate compliance programs had previously factored into the division’s antitrust prosecution decisions but at the sentencing stage of a case.