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Title: On the optimal design of leniency programmes
Author: Agisilaou, Panayiotis
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis comprises of a collection of essays that aim at enhancing our understanding of the underlying mechanics of leniency policies in antitrust. In Chapter 1, we provide a systematic overview of the most influential contributions to the literature on collusion and leniency policies, with a focus on antitrust law. The survey elucidates the effects of leniency programmes on cartel formation and cartel implementation. In Chapter 2, we provide a model to investigate the impact of a leniency programme on collusive firms' incentives to keep or destroy hard incriminating evidence. We show that firms may willfully keep the hard evidence to facilitate the implementation of the cartel. Firms are more inclined to keep the hard evidence when a leniency programme is available. Finally, firms are more likely to destroy the hard evidence when the collusive profits-fine ratio increases. In Chapter 3, we study the strategic interaction between a cartel and an an- titrust authority whose evidence against the cartel is private information. Within the framework of a signalling game, we explore the antitrust authority's incentives to reveal the strength of its evidence, before committing to its prosecutorial effort. We show that, despite its potentially feeble evidence, the antitrust authority can exploit its informational lead and induce the cartel to self-report at an earlier stage of the prosecutorial process. The more generous the leniency programme, the easier it is to induce self-reporting by the cartel. In Chapter 4, we provide a model to characterize the optimal leniency programme when colluding firms can invest resources to avoid detection. We show that the optimal fine discount rate depends positively on the severity of the fine and negatively on the probability of investigation and the cost of avoidance activities. A leniency programme that ignores firms' efforts to avoid detection may result in under-deterrence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available