New legislation introduced on August 1, 2012 by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa ) is intended to protect Whistleblowers after reporting criminal antitrust violations to the Department.
The legislation is called The Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act, and it would provide a civil remedy for those who are attacked for reporting violations such as price fixing, market allocation and bid rigging. The bill introduced Tuesday does not propose a rewards program for whistleblowers, which DOJ officials said could jeopardize witness credibility in criminal cases
The bill comes as a result of the General Accountability Office’s 2011 study on enforcing antitrust laws. In the study, antitrust attorneys and law professors broadly supported the addition of that remedy because it would motivate more people to come forward with evidence.
The General Accountability Office currently has a â€śleniency programâ€ť for whistleblower reports also used by the Department of Justiceâ€™s Antitrust Division. Under the current leniency program, the first individual or company that reports its involvement in a criminal antitrust conspiracy to the Antitrust Division will avoid criminal conviction, fines, and prison sentences