Anne Krenzer is appointed Leniency Officer for the Autorité de la concurrence

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In response to an increasing number of leniency applications, the Autorité de la concurrence has decided to appoint its own Leniency Officer, following the example of its Dutch and German counterparts.

Leniency: a win-win system

Since the law of 15 May 2001 on new economic regulations (“loi NRE”) was adopted, there have been 55 leniency applications submitted to the Autorité de la concurrence. This provision makes it possible for a company to disclose a cartel to which it takes part, in consideration of total or partial immunity against financial penalties, provided it cooperates fully and permanently, in an efficient manner, throughout the inquiry and investigation proceedings. Leniency works as a powerful aid to the Autorité in its attempts to uncover and bring sanctions against secret cartels, which seriously harm the economy..

The Leniency Officer: an expert in leniency programmes

As an expert in implementing leniency programmes, the Leniency Officer’s main mission is to participate in company hearings and to advise the Case Officer in charge of a leniency application. At the same time, she is to cooperate with other competition authorities in the case of multiple leniency applications.

A lawyer by training, Anne Krenzer, who was, up until now, senior legal advisor in charge of the European Competition Network (ECN), was appointed to this position on 1 September. She will report directly to Virginie Beaumeunier, General Rapporteur of the Autorité de la concurrence.

The Autorité plans to strengthen its procedures for detecting cartels and make them more effective

The reason for appointing a Leniency Officer, on the one hand, is because the Autorité de la concurrence wishes to reaffirm its readiness to fight against cartels, the category of infringement most damaging to companies and to consumers alike, and one that the Autorité needs to be able to detect in spite of their very often secretive nature. On the other hand, it wishes to consolidate cooperation between national competition authorities with regard to national and European procedures intended for this purpose.

> For more detailed information on the French leniency programme (in French)

> Link to the Procedural notice relating to the French Leniency Programme - 2 March 2009 (english version)

> For more detailed information on the Organisation of the investigation services (in French)

> Contact presse : André Piérard / Tél. : 01 55 04 02 28 / Mel

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