Companies involved in the government contracting industry should take note that the government is honing in on anticompetitive conduct affecting government procurements. The federal government has demonstrated an increased interest in this area, and companies should refresh and audit their compliance programs to avoid hefty civil and criminal penalties and potential prison terms for implicated employees. Access the full article.
Italy’s Competition Chair Confirms That ad hoc Compliance Programs Will Continue to be Considered as a Mitigating Factor
by Veronica Pinotti and Martino Sforza On March 6, 2012, the members of the Italian Antitrust Association met with the new Chair of the Italian Competition Authority (ICA), Giovanni Pitruzzella. During the meeting, Pitruzella stated that ad hoc qualitative compliance programs will continue to be considered as an effective mitigating factor, confirming the ICA's attitude towards compliance programs and encouraging the use of such programs. However, participation in general online compliance training sessions is unlikely to be considered as a mitigating factor because such sessions are not specifically tailored to a company's needs. To mitigate the risk of potential antitrust infringements, therefore, multinational groups with operations in Italy should consider developing ad hoc antitrust compliance programs in their Italian subsidiaries.
by Lionel Lesur and Louise-Astrid Aberg Following up on our prior post, on February 10, 2012, the French Competition Authority (FCA) published the final version of its framework document on compliance programs and of its Notice relating to settlements. First, the FCA decided that the Notice of Settlement would have the legal status of a "directive" under French administrative case law. Consequently, the Notice of Settlement is legally binding on the FCA and fully enforceable against it, except if the FCA explains in its decision the specific circumstances or any reason of general interest commanding it to adopt another solution. Second, for the Notice of Settlement, the FCA decided to relax its initial rule preventing the cumulating of a settlement reduction and a leniency reduction. The FCA adopted this principle, first put forward in the laundry detergents cartel decision (December 8, 2011), that states companies may cumulate both reductions when...