ARTICLES : ANTITRUST COMPLIANCE PROGRAMMES – EFFECTS – COMPETITION

Antitrust Compliance Programmes & Optimal Antitrust Enforcement

Should companies that have antitrust compliance programmes be granted a reduction in the amount of fines or even immunity from fines when they are found to have committed antitrust infringements? Should the absence of a compliance programme constitute an aggravating factor leading to higher fines for antitrust infringements? Should the adoption of a compliance programme be imposed as part of infringement decisions or settlements? These are the questions which this paper examines, on the basis of an analysis of the nature of antitrust infringements, the rationale of company liability for antitrust infringements, and the possible positive and possible negative effects of compliance programmes.

I. INTRODUCTION Should companies that have antitrust compliance programmes be granted a reduction in the amount of fines or even immunity from fines when they are found to have committed antitrust infringements? Should the absence of a compliance programme constitute an aggravating factor leading to higher fines for antitrust infringements? Should the adoption of a compliance programme be imposed as part of infringement decisions or settlements? These questions, while not new, have been much discussed recently. In November 2011, the European Commission published a brochure, in which it reaffirmed its policy not to grant a reduction in the amount of fines because of the existence of a compliance programme: "The Commission welcomes and supports all compliance efforts by companies

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  • King’s College (London)

Quotation

Wouter Wils, Antitrust Compliance Programmes & Optimal Antitrust Enforcement, September 2013, Concurrences N° 3-2013, Art. N° 52976, www.concurrences.com

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