The Commission and 17 Member States have a “Leniency Programme” (i.e. a programme for cooperation in competition proceedings). Although these programmes differ substantially in detail between Member States, they all have the common concept that they either grant full immunity from fines or a significant reductions of fines which would otherwise have been imposed on a participant in a cartel in exchange for fully and voluntarily disclosing information on a cartel which meets specific criteria prior to or during the investigation of the case.

Austrian competition law contains a leniency programme, which has been effective since 1st January 2006. As part of this programme the BWB has recently published a handbook which describes the procedure for the implementation of the leniency programme.

The handbook contains, amongst other things, information relating to full immunity from fines (including qualifying criteria), information relating to reduction of fines and the procedure for seeking leniency (including the information that must be set out in the application).