ICC Brings Antitrust Compliance Advocacy to China and Brazil

ICC updates Chinese agencies on its antitrust compliance and advocacy work.
ICC updates Chinese agencies on its antitrust compliance and advocacy work.

With the rapid growth of antitrust legislation around the world in recent years, many businesses struggle to comply with laws that punish anticompetitive behavior. To help companies embed a culture of compliance within their operations, last year the International Chamber of Commerce issued its Antitrust Compliance Toolkit, which provides tools and advice for companies of all sizes seeking to create or strengthen an antitrust compliance program.

In August 2014, ICC met with competition authorities in China and in Brazil to discuss the toolkit and related compliance advocacy. To date, ICC has unveiled the toolkit through workshops in several countries, including the United States.

The ICC Commission on Competition gathers over 300 competition law experts from 40 countries. The commission launched the Task Force on Antitrust Compliance and Advocacy in 2011, an initiative that has developed practical toolkits on antitrust compliance and contributes to deepening the discussion and thought leadership with all stakeholders.

ICC Meets Competition Authorities in China

In China, the ICC Task Force on Compliance and Advocacy met with several Chinese agencies, accompanied by a delegation of ICC corporate members and representatives from ICC China and from the University of International Business and Economics of Beijing. Anne Tubbs, co vice-chair of the task force, said “ICC is delighted by the very positive welcome it received and the level of interest Chinese agencies showed in the Toolkit and related compliance advocacy work.”

Tubbs noted that the Chinese government is aware of the challenges companies face in mitigating compliance risks through internal controls. “A proactive focus on compliance, as a means of preventing anti-competitive conduct, can help embed a strong compliance culture across all markets, to the ultimate benefit of consumers,” she said. “ICC will continue to explore means of contributing to such efforts in China with assistance from local experts and advocates.”

Tubbs noted that the Chinese government is aware of the challenges companies face in mitigating compliance risks through internal controls. “A proactive focus on compliance, as a means of preventing anti-competitive conduct, can help embed a strong compliance culture across all markets, to the ultimate benefit of consumers,” she said. “ICC will continue to explore means of contributing to such efforts in China with assistance from local experts and advocates.”

The Chinese agencies – which included the Anti-Monopoly Bureau of the Ministry of Commerce, the national Development and Reform Commission, and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce – invited ICC to prepare a Chinese version of the Antitrust Compliance Toolkit and to remain in close contact for the future launch of such materials, as well as other initiatives including the development of guidance tailored to SMEs.

ICC Participates in High-Level Seminar on Compliance Law in Brazil

Hosted by the Center of Social and Economic Law Studies and the Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), ICC participated in a seminar from August 28-29 in Sao Paulo to address competition law and policy and corporate compliance initiatives. The event brought together legal experts and representatives from the private sector, competition authorities, and national and international organizations.

Both private sector and agency speakers recognized the ICC Antitrust Compliance Toolkit as an invaluable benchmark for corporate compliance initiatives, serving the antitrust community worldwide. Much attention was also given to SMEs, noting that they deserve particular consideration as limited resources make it harder to develop and embed a successful competition culture. Simone Pieri, one of the contributors to the ICC Antitrust Compliance Toolkit, announced at the seminar that ICC will soon be rolling out an SME version of the toolkit.

As for the promotion of a competition culture, it was acknowledged that companies and lawyers have an important role to play. Speakers stressed that competition agencies should also promote competition culture through their decisions. The need to promote the globalization of competition compliance legislation and build international consensus and coherence on how to treat compliance programs garnered considerable attention from participants.

Staff contact: Rachel Spence

More on USCIB’s Competition Committee

Staff Contact:   Elizabeth Kim

Policy & Program Assistant
Tel: 212.703.5095

As members of USCIB’s Policy Team, Policy and Program Assistants work to support the mission of the organization on an array of issues ranging from Growth, Jobs and Open Market; Competitiveness and Innovation; Sustainable Development; and Business and Society.

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