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A cartel is a group of similar, independent companies which join together to fix prices, limit production or share markets or customers among themselves. The most significant feature of this anticompetitive activity is its restriction of competition between the parties involved in the arrangement. The objective of a cartel is to raise prices above competitive levels, which can result in injury to consumers and to the economy. This is why cartels are considered not only harmful for the economy as a whole but also, as a catalysing factor, destructive for the idealized approach of maintaining a level playing field in the market. Thus various jurisdictions, or rather almost all competition regimes, declare cartels an illegal activity subject to severe fines and penalties. But it is well known that the enforcement mechanisms of laws against cartels differ from country to country, and yet the striking similarity is that almost all competition authorities face the same uphill task of detecting and busting cartels in a manner that leads to efficient and desired prosecution.

This paper focuses on an analysis of the newly introduced leniency regulations in India and the parameters of their effectiveness through a comparative analytical study of BRICS leniency regulations, specifically the experiences shared by South Africa, Brazil and Russia in the application of leniency tools and a marker system. The paper further considers the weaknesses of the existing leniency regulations in India and in BRICS and concludes by offering a future path for possible improvements in the form of certain recommendations.

About the Author

D. Sharma
National Law University Jodhpur

Faculty of Law, Ph.D. Scholar & Coordinator, Center for Competition Law & Policy (CCLP),

NH-65, Nagour Road, 342304, Mandore, Jodhpur, Rajasthan


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2. International Competition Network, Anti-Cartel Enforcement Manual, Chapter 2: Drafting and implementing an effective leniency policy, April 2014, available at <http://www.internationalcompetitionnetwork.org/uploads/library/doc1005.pdf> (last visited on 15 June 2016).

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Supplementary files

For citation: Sharma D. DIMENSIONS OF LENIENCY POLICIES IN BRICS: A COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF INDIA, SOUTH AFRICA, BRAZIL AND RUSSIA. BRICS Law Journal. 2016;3(2):6-20. https://doi.org/10.21684/2412-2343-2016-3-2-6-20

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ISSN 2409-9058 (Print)
ISSN 2412-2343 (Online)