In cartel cases the ex officio starting of proceedings may be preceded by a leniency application. The leniency policy, which was announced by a notice issued by the President of the Hungarian Competition Authority, together with the Chair of the Competition Council of the Authority, makes it possible for undertakings participating in a cartel but actively assisting in its detection to get, under well-defined conditions, immunity from, or a reduction in the amount of, the fine which would otherwise be imposed on them, as the public interest in ensuring that secret cartels should be detected and eliminated outweighs the public interest in fining the undertakings that participate in those cartels. The leniency policy is based on the assumption that certain undertakings involved in secret agreements would be willing to put an end to their participation and provide information about the existence of the cartel and its operation but they are afraid of the penalties, which would be imposed on them as sanctions for their practices. The application of the leniency policy can be initiated by the submission of an application for leniency.
From 1 July 2014 it is not required by law to use the form for lodging a leniency application. The most essential requirements of leniency applications are stipulated by Article 78/B of the Competition Act.
Notice No 2/2016 of the President of the Hungarian Competition Authority and the Chair of the Competition Council of the Hungarian Competition Authority on the application of the rules on leniency pursuant to Article 78/A of Act LVII of 1996 on the Prohibition of Unfair and Restrictive Market Practices