Compliance should be in focus for competition authorities. Prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, the Antitrust Compliance Summit & Awards initiative is to be lauded.
I believe the Antitrust Compliance Summit & Awards is an excellent opportunity to discuss about compliance programs (specifics, criteria, success and failure stories) and to acknowledge the role they may undertake on wide spreading a true culture of competition on stakeholders and society as a whole. This event, structured in panel discussions and formal awards recognitions, will allow us all to share thorough assessment of effectiveness of compliance programs thus far. I am very much looking forward to participate in this program and to my role as member of the Enforcer Steering Committee.
I am very delighted to be part of the Antitrust Compliance Summit & Awards Steering Committee together with other distinguished members.
The Italian Competition Authority strongly supports this much-needed initiative of Concurrences which contributes to promote and strengthen a competition culture at global level and I hope its innovative format will attract as many participant agencies as possible in sharing their experiences in evaluating compliance programmes for the purpose of potential fine reductions for businesses.
Since the adoption of our own guidelines in 2018, antitrust programmes in Italy have become an increasingly important component of businesses’ general compliance programmes. Our practice has shown that designing and implementing antitrust programmes is not a “box-checking exercise” and there is no “one size fits all” type of programme.
I believe this initiative, by exchanging best practices for successful antitrust compliance, will surely be of interest for our agency as well as many other competition agencies around the world.
We are firm believers that proactive competition law compliance by businesses of all sizes is an important factor in well-functioning markets. Accordingly, we welcome this effort to increase awareness of compliance best practices and to demonstrate through dialogue and recognition that a strong culture of compliance, supported by effective policies and procedures, makes good business sense.
You have probably heard that it is much better to be safe than sorry. This maxim, applicable to so many situations, can also be used when we discuss corruption, since the act of anticipating situations prevents they spread through public or private companies. Corruption, besides compromising the money of entities, whether public or private, also puts their reputation at stake. On the other hand, compliance programs may establish an organizational culture that encourages ethical conduct and a commitment to comply with the organization’s internal and external standards. In this way, they promote the fight against corruption and reduce the number of lawsuits and administrative proceedings, as well as the chances of financial losses. Experience shows that an effective compliance program can bring about great results. By adopting such programs, we ensure the maintenance of competition in the market and prevent the emergence of violations and harm caused by the lack of competition. Moreover, if we keep a company from losing value, it certainly creates benefits to the entire supply chain, that is, the company itself, investors, consumers, trading partners, and even authorities, as prevention is always preferable to repression, incurring lower costs to society. In view of this, it is important to recognize initiatives that aim to foster and encourage companies to have robust compliance programs that are capable of mapping risks and minimizing the practice of illegal acts, whether these are related to competition law or other matters.