Antitrust & Competition Policy Blog

Editor: D. Daniel Sokol
University of Florida
Levin College of Law

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Air Cargo Cartel: Lessons for Compliance

How can you find a good compliance program?  I spent hours (along with Howard Bergman) intervieiwing the Lufthansa team that uncovered the air cargo cartel.  This is a very capable group that believes in compliance and ethics and created an effective program that caught the air cargo cartel (leading to a rush to leniency in a number of jursidictions). We wrote this up as a case study of an anatomy of cartel compliance and detection. We think that it will have appeal to both practitioner and academic audiences.

Howard Bergman (George Mason) and D. Daniel Sokol (University of Florida) offer The Air Cargo Cartel: Lessons for Compliance.

ABSTRACT: Cartel enforcement and leniency are issues of increased academic attention. Most of the academic work in this area focuses on scholarship regarding formal modeling of leniency, empirical work, and analyses of broader legal theories, analytical trends and specific decisions. Scholarship has not focused on how leniency works in practice to detect wrongdoing and how robust and effective compliance programs may be used as a tool to take advantage of leniency. This chapter fills in the gap by offering a case study of an effective compliance program that uncovered what was at the time the largest ever international cartel. To do so, the authors undertook interviews with the legal team of Lufthansa, the leniency applicant in the air cargo conspiracy.

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