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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.
Compliance, as well as time to market, constitutes a major strategic challenge for economic players but also for authorities and institutions. What is the rule without the knowledge of this rule, the understanding of issues and risks at stake ? This is most apt when it comes to behavioral rules. Competition law is now part of companies’ codes of conduct which imply for staffs to act in a responsible and ethical manner. Being aware of competition law rules is therefore much more than a legal requirement. It is part of the corporate culture.
Today Competition Law Compliance Programmes are widespread. However, from the perspective of Heads of competition law / Compliance officers in charge, maintaining such programmes as top priorities is not a walk in the park. To the contrary, it is a real challenge to always keep them up especially when they are themselves in competition with many compliance requirements imposed by legislations, e.g. anti bribery, money laundering.
Concurrences identified this issue and started months ago to propose dedicated events. The Awards Compliance Initiative, that I’d like to commend, will be the high point of exchanges started in February 2019 at Concurrences’ initiative but also, and it has to be stressed, in the framework of a dedicated working group set-up by the French Competition Authority in 2020. More broadly, it will gather international actors, authorities and institutions and allow them to share their views and more practically, their best recipes and tools.
I am delighted to join the jury panel for the 2021 Antitrust Compliance Global Summit & Awards. The Summit creates an important platform to acknowledge the challenges faced in the last year whilst the Awards allow us to recognize the achievements of those who have overcome such challenges and are producing great work despite the odds. Events such as the Antitrust Compliance Global Summit & Awards are an excellent opportunity for agencies across the world, particularly the smaller ones, to inspire each other by sharing their innovative ideas, discussing best practice and highlighting their successes. I look forward to seeing you in January!
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.