The Competition Council of Latvia (the CC) has developed guidelines of the Leniency Programme, which gives a possibility to companies involved in cartel agreements to report infringements to the CC. If a company submits and application for the Leniency Programme, it can obtain full exemption from a fine or reduction of fine, as well as exemption from one year prohibition to participate in procurements.
The guidelines developed by the CC provide general theoretical and practical explanations about the programme, principles of its application and previous practice of the authority.
The CC indicates – any company involved in cartel infringement can be eligible for full exemption from a fine only if it becomes the first to report to the authority, that it has agreed with competitors. If the authority is already informed about the respective infringement, the company may still apply for the Leniency Programme, providing significant information about the infringement and obtaining reduction of fine up to 50%. It is significant to consider, that in all cases using of the Leniency Programme stipulates exemption from the one year prohibition to participate in procurements.
The CC indicates, that before submission of a report within the Leniency Programme the authority provides an opportunity to companies or their representatives to receive unofficial consultations on whether the particular case qualifies for the programme. This meeting is confidential and company identity data or the particular circumstances do not have to be disclosed. The CC draws attention to the fact, that information provided during the consultation will not be used for initiation of infringement case.
Each year the CC adopts decisions on approximately four prohibited agreements, additionally addressing on average six warnings to 18 companies. Fines imposed on infringers range from several tens of thousands up to several million euros.