Recently I posted a blog item titled: Should There Be An Antitrust Whistleblower Statute? I received a comment from Professor Andreas Stephan directing me to a paper he wrote titled: “Is the Korean Innovation of Individual Informant Rewards a Viable Cartel Detection Tool?” I found the paper very insightful and rich with footnotes. The paper discussed the view towards antitrust whistleblowers in various jurisdictions, including the United States. Below is the abstract for Professor Stephan’s paper:
This paper considers whether the use of individual informant rewards or bounties is a viable cartel detection tool. Rewards have the potential to enhance enforcement by revealing infringements that would otherwise go undetected. In order to be effective they should be made available to individuals directly involved in cartels because they may be the only viable source of information. Mere protection from retaliatory measures of employers does not create an adequate incentive to report misbehaviour. The personal costs and risks associated with whistleblowing are so significant that effective rewards may need to amount to a lottery win in order for reporting to be worthwhile. Reward systems pose some dangers to the enforcement system, but these can be managed.
Professor Stephan is a Professor of Competition Law, ESRC Centre for Competition Policy and UEA Law School, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. He is also an editor and regular contributor to a Competition Policy blog that I find very informative. I want to thank Professor Stephan for informing me of his research.
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