Allen & Overy has reported that across seven major jurisdictions selected for its Global Cartel Enforcement 2013 Year in Review, cartel fines handed down in 2013 totalled €3.1bn (£2.6bn).
The firm found that fewer new global investigations have emerged this year. However, fine levels in the seven selected countries increased by 10.5 per cent in 2013 compared with the previous year. This is due to substantial settlements imposed against the LIBOR and auto-parts cartels.
According to Allen & Overy, the report foreshadows another significant year for cartel enforcement in 2014, with the financial services sector commanding the spotlight once again. It also predicts mounting challenges for authorities and multinational corporations as they seek to co-ordinate and fairly resolve matters in the increasingly crowded global cartel enforcement environment.
Commenting on the outcome of the research, antitrust partner John Terzaken said: ‘Matters such as auto parts and LIBOR highlight the problems posed by the regulatory enforcement thicket that now exists in complex global matters. Multiple agencies in different countries are more frequently pursuing and punishing the same basic conduct, but under different laws.
‘Moving forward, authorities need to find a way to co-ordinate global enforcement matters, to ensure appropriate deterrence without tipping the balance towards over-punishment. Multinational corporations in turn need to maintain a global perspective on cartel liability.’