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19 July 2018
NZCC's cartel leniency policy
Changes to updated guidelines
On 29 June 2018 the New Zealand Commerce Commission (NZCC) published amended cartel leniency policy guidelines, updating its previous guidelines from 2011. While the changes are mostly cosmetic, the updated guidelines indicate a potential change in the NZCC's approach towards penalty discounts for second-in applicants that seek to fall within the NZCC's cooperation regime.
The NZCC's cartel leniency policy regime grants immunity from prosecution to the first participant in a cartel to inform the NZCC of its existence in exchange for full cooperation with the NZCC.
In addition, for those participants which are not the first to inform the NZCC of a cartel, the NZCC will provide cooperation concessions if they cooperate fully with the NZCC and provide it with "information that adds significant value to the investigation".
The NZCC's updated guidelines do not introduce substantive changes to the NZCC's 2011 guidelines, but rather reflect its efforts to make the guidelines more user friendly – including by clarifying what is expected of parties through the NZCC's immunity or cooperation processes.
There are, however, a couple of changes to the NZCC's process:
Recognising that 28 working days was often a short timeframe to conduct the necessary internal investigations to prepare that proffer statement, the NZCC has increased the standard timeframe to 40 working days. The NZCC will allow a longer timeframe if it agrees that it is appropriate in the circumstances.
For further information on this topic please contact Sarah Keene or Troy Pilkington at Russell McVeagh by telephone (+64 9 367 8000) or email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org). The Russell McVeagh website can be accessed at www.russellmcveagh.co.nz.
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