A major concern for undertakings which are involved in international cartel cases is the possibility of receiving overlapping punishments for their cartel conduct by competition authorities in different jurisdictions.
Various jurisdictions, including China, recognize the concept of double jeopardy and have introduced provisions which attempt to prevent over-punishment in the context of national proceedings. Although there is no international standard to prevent double jeopardy in the context of antitrust enforcement of the same cartel by different jurisdictions, a number of competition authorities have taken the principle into account when imposing fines in international cartel cases, for example by excluding commerce or turnover attributable to certain sales or applying a reduction to the fine to take account of the fact that another jurisdiction has already imposed fines in respect of certain sales.
We recognize that double jeopardy is an important consideration for clients which are implicated in international cartels. The Chinese antitrust agencies have not yet expressed how they intend to address the issue. However, as they become more experienced in dealing with such cases, we hope that they will also become more aware of the issue and will clarify their approach to the issue of double jeopardy.