Monday, August 8, 2011
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Over the weekend, I had a chance to review the Antitrust Division's FY 1999 - FY 2008 Workload Statistics. One thing that caught my eye was that in the most recent fiscal year for which statistics are available, the Division prosecuted more process crimes (i.e., more obstruction cases) than price-fixing cases. The total number of criminal cases in FY 2008 was 54 (id. at 7), with only 26 of those "Restraint of Trade - Criminal Sherman Section 1" cases. The majority of its workload was "Other Criminal Cases" -- not cartel crimes -- for Obstruction of Justice, false statements, etc. -- 28 cases filed in FY 2008. See id. at 8.
Let me also note that overall, the criminal record at DOJ is the crown jewel of the Division. The leniency program has brough to light some very bad illegal conduct. I do not mean to diminish the good work that the Division has done, just to note some limitations. I have a forthcoming article that suggests some limits to the leniency program and ways to potentially strengthen cartel enforcement. This summer I have been working on a follow-up article that extends my analysis in new directions. I'll blog more about these papers when I post them on SSRN.