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David Prosser: Too much time off for good behaviour

Outlook For the Office of Fair Trading, the policy of offering whistleblowers total immunity from prosecution in cases of market abuse seems to be paying off. The allegations of price fixing it made against Virgin Atlantic yesterday – and remember that the case is not yet proven – were prompted by Cathay Pacific turning grass. The biter bitten, you might say, since Virgin itself once did exactly the same thing to British Airways.

Still, while the OFT's deals with whistleblowers are getting it results – there have been a string of these cases over the past couple of years – is justice best served by the practice? This is not to prejudge the latest case, but it somehow sticks in the craw seeing so many companies get away scot-free after breaking the law simply because they got their confessions in first. Whistleblowers no doubt deserve credit for coming forward, but does this go too far?