LEGAL PRACTICE: USA - ANTITRUST - COMPLIANCE PROGRAM - CRIMINAL CHARGES - EFFECTIVENESS

Antitrust: How to navigate a perilous but underappreciated compliance risk area

The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice recently announced that it will consider the effectiveness of a company’s corporate antitrust compliance program in criminal charging decisions and penalty recommendations and that it will enter into Deferred Prosecution Agreements in appropriate circumstances. This article discusses the historical backdrop and evolution of this policy, the details and implications of the new guidance, and how and why companies should take heed in order to maximize their compliance efforts. In light of the new policy, companies investing now to develop a robust and effective antitrust compliance program may reap dividends later through reduced or avoided fines, treble damages, and jail sentences.

1. Antitrust risk has frequently been underappreciated by many in the corporate compliance space—in some cases right up until the moment FBI agents showed up at their door. And notwithstanding an apparent recent downturn following on the heels of a decade of robust enforcement, the inherent risk remains and companies are increasingly factoring antitrust liability into their compliance calculus. To that end, companies should take heed of recent policy changes and compliance program guidance from the Antitrust Division (the “Division”) of the U.S. Department of Justice (the “DOJ”). Below we set forth background on the Division’s policy changes and examine some practical considerations for companies. I. Background 2. The Division announced on July 11, 2019, that it will now credit preexisting

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Authors

  • Linklaters (New York)
  • Linklaters (Washington)

Quotation

Doug Tween, William Huynh, Antitrust: How to navigate a perilous but underappreciated compliance risk area, February 2020, Concurrences N° 1-2020, Art. N° 92661, www.concurrences.com

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