PRACTICES: COMPETITION RULES - NON-COMPLIANCE – MULTINATIONAL COMPANIES - COMPLIANCE PROGRAM - EFFECTIVENESS - ANNUAL REPORT – ETHICS CODE

Ethics codes and competition law : The risk of non-compliance and its introduction in ethic codes

Non-compliance to competition rules is perceived as being a major legal risk, especially by leading multinational companies. In response to this threat, antitrust compliance programs are implemented, which are increasingly the focus of both companies and antitrust agencies attention. However, their effectiveness depends on the extent to which a real compliance culture exists within the company. This commitment may take different forms, some of them being easily observable from an external point of view. The following study aims at finding evidences of such an antitrust compliance culture within French and foreign listed companies (a total of 88 firms) by examining two types of corporate documents: the annual report and the ethics code (or equivalent).

1. Alors même que les programmes de conformité aux règles antitrust focalisent toute l’attention, le document annuel de référence publié par une société cotée ainsi que son code d’éthique sont en mesure de fournir des informations intéressantes quant au rapport qu’entretient l’entreprise avec le risque de non-conformité aux règles de concurrence. L’étude relatée ici, qui développe une analyse empirique de ces deux types de documents corporate, porte sur les pratiques de 88 sociétés cotées, françaises et étrangères. 2. Le risque de non-conformité aux règles du droit de la concurrence (droit antitrust, essentiellement) est ressenti par beaucoup d’entreprises comme étant d’une importance majeure. Un certain nombre d’études attestent de la réalité de cette perception. Ainsi, dans une enquête menée en 2009 auprès

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Christophe Roquilly, Christophe Collard, Ethics codes and competition law : The risk of non-compliance and its introduction in ethic codes, September 2012, Concurrences Review N° 3-2012, Art. N° 48091, www.concurrences.com

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