Settlements procedures may pursue different policy objectives in different OECD jurisdictions. Generally, they reward cooperation from the investigated parties, they create and sustain momentum in the investigation of other conspirators and they allow cartel cases to be resolved quickly. In some jurisdictions, settlements also offer “finality”, i.e. they offer companies certainty as to the outcome of the investigation and allow them to move back to normal business. Settlement procedures bring significant benefits for both the investigating or prosecuting agency and for the parties. They generally reduce the time of the investigation, freeing up investigative resources that can be redirected to other cases. The parties entering into a settlement agreement benefit of a reduction in the fines or penalties and enjoy more legal certainty.
Experience with Direct Settlements in Cartel Cases