On 22 November 2012, the European Competition Network ("ECN") published its revised Model Leniency Programme ("MLP"). The revised MLP replaces the MLP of 2006. The most significant changes relate to the following aspects.
- Summary application: all leniency applicants applying to the Commission in cartel cases covering more than three Member States will be able to submit a summary application. Previously, only the first applicant was entitled to use the summary application. A summary application is a uniform "short form" application, intended to relieve the administrative burden on both undertakings and competition authorities in large, cross-border cartel cases which involve multiple leniency filings.
- Standard template: the ECN has agreed on a standard template for summary applications, which can be used in all Member States.
- Scope of the MLP: the ECN clarified the scope of the MLP in that it also covers "secret cartels", such as "hub and spoke" cartels.
- Protection against disclosure of oral and written statements: third parties will not be granted access to any records of any statements, oral and written, before the competition authority has issued the statement of objections. Furthermore, the MLP stipulates that both oral and written statements will only be exchanged between competition authorities when the level of protection at the receiving competition authority is equivalent to the level of protection at the competition authority providing the information.