- Presentation of the Antitrust Compliance Network
- List of Antitrust Publications from Joe Murphy
Concurrences is recognizing the importance of compliance programs in the competition law field by staging a series of virtual conferences on the topic and giving awards to leaders in this field.
This is a very valuable contribution to our field. For too long competition law compliance has taken a back seat to other areas, especially anti-corruption. Much of the blame for this lies at the feet of competition law enforcers, who had refused to recognize compliance programs, preferring instead to focus only on collecting fines. In contrast, in other areas of law enforcement, the value of compliance and government’s role in recognizing and promoting it, was readily recognized. Recently this negative approach in competition law has started to change, and we now have an opportunity to see more energy, imagination and resources directed into competition law compliance.
Those who do the difficult work of competition law compliance deserve to be recognized and encouraged. At the same time, we need incentives to move beyond the old approaches of dusty manuals and legal lectures, into steps that make programs work – things like empowering compliance officers, dealing with incentives, evaluating what program steps actually are working.
Congratulations to Concurrences for its leadership in promoting competition law compliance efforts.
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.
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.
Compliance plays an integral role in antitrust/competition law and this initiative recognizes its growing centrality.
From being a fringe activity for the legal profession, competition law compliance has become a key pillar of good corporate citizenship over the last 15 years or so. So much legal expertise, business insight and creativity goes into ever-more sophisticated and bespoke compliance programs. It is about time to recognize outstanding accomplishments in this important field, and I am very pleased that Concurrences has given me a chance to support their initiative.