US authorities set $2.7bn new record for cartel fines

 
Lauren Fedor
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AUTHORITIES in the United States are leading the way in cracking down on cartels, according to a new report out this week.

The US Department of Justice has already imposed $2.7bn in cartel fines this year, according to research from the legal practice Allen & Overy. US penalties represent 85.6 per cent of the total fines handed down across the world, according to the report.

Allen & Overy says the justice department has already imposed more cartel fines this year than it did during the entire 2012 and 2013 fiscal years combined. Researchers pointed to fines relating to the manipulation of the foreign exchange rate markets as part of the reason behind the spike, but made clear that the number does not include fines relating to the Libor scandal, which has to do with fraud rather than antitrust.

Responding to the results, John Terzaken, partner and head of the cartel defence practice at Allen & Overy, said: “The record-breaking fines coming out of the US at the half-year point mask what has been an otherwise slow start to cartel enforcement globally.”