The European Competition Network, an organisation that brings together competition authorities from  European Union Member States, has revised its model leniency programme - adopted in 2006. The objective of such model programme is to ensure convergence between the leniency programmes implemented by each national competition authority, in order to make sure that leniency remains an attractive option for undertakings facing multiple filings with several competition authorities.

The main changes are as follows:

  • the possibility to submit summary applications is extended to all categories of leniency: this option is no longer reserved to leniency applications likely to result  in total immunity, but is now also open to leniency applications resulting in only partial exoneration;
  • a standard template is available to undertakings and can be used for all their leniency applications to the various competition authorities;
  • the revised programme clarifies the scope of the practices in question (secret cartels including those containing vertical practices), the content of the obligation to cooperate (non-disclosure of the leniency application) and the level of protection of confidentiality within the context of communications between different authorities.

To be operational, these changes must be incorporated into each competition authority's leniency programme or applied in practice.