Competition Law – Leniency Programme For Competition Law Offences

Generally, offences against antitrust laws may be difficult to establish without thorough investigation into the activities of individuals or companies within a given industry. The elements required for establishing antitrust offences may require introspection into the affairs or activities of alleged offenders – an endeavour which may prove difficult to achieve. The concept of “Leniency” in Antitrust Laws has therefore been established in the United States and other jurisdictions to promote the cooperation of alleged antitrust offenders in investigating offences against competition law in exchange for more lenient penalties.

As this has proven successful to reduce antitrust offences in several jurisdictions, Nigeria has institutionalised the leniency framework through the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission Investigative Cooperation/Assistance Rules & Procedures 2021. The Rules provide the means through which alleged antitrust offenders may cooperate with the Commission in exchange for reduced penalties or waiver of prosecution for antitrust practices, in assisting the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission in its mandate to eliminate antitrust practices in Nigeria.

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