The cartel is regarded as a desease that inflicts on the open market economy. Whilst its presence is detrimental to the public, the most serious issue is its secrecy, which has posed a major problem to competition authorities all over the world. To address this, many countries including Malaysia have introduced a leniency programme for the detection of cartels by persuading their members to approach the authorities to admit involvement in the cartel activities and assist the authorities to expose other cartel participants. The objective of this paper is to conduct a study on the legal framework of the cartel and Malaysia’s leniency programme. The paper contains a detailed analysis of the Competition Act 2010 (Act 712) (CA 2010), the Guidelines on Leniency Regime (Leniency Guidelines) by the Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC) and academic research in this area. The findings show that while the leniency programme is available under the Leniency Guidelines, data on leniency applications made to date are not available on the MyCC’s website. In addition, the MyCC’s decisions published on its website revealed that of six cartels that were found to have committed infringement, none had been first detected through the leniency programme. Therefore, the effectiveness of the programme has yet to be proven.
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