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  • *I want to thank Ben Klemens, Massimo Motta, Michele Polo, two anonymous referees and the Editor for their comments, Gianca Spagnolo for our many discussions of leniency programs and his comments, and Rui Ota and Wei Tan for research assistance. This research is supported by the National Research Science Foundation under grants SES-0209486 and SES-0516943.


This study characterizes the corporate leniency policy that minimizes the frequency with which collusion occurs. Though it can be optimal to provide only partial leniency, plausible sufficient conditions are provided whereby the antitrust authority should waive all penalties for the first firm to come forward. It is also shown that restrictions should be placed on when amnesty is awarded, though it can be optimal to award amnesty even when the antitrust authority is very likely to win the case without insider testimony.