Almost all countries have antitrust (competition) laws in place, prohibiting anti-competitive agreements and anti-competitive behavior. The principles of free market competition mean that your organization should seek to compete and not collude with its competitors. Agreements with competitors, agreements with other third parties and abusive conduct by dominant undertakings (i.e. with a market share of >40-50%) are considered serious antitrust violations and could lead to severe penalties (for instance debarment from government tenders), high fines and criminal liabilities.
Antitrust laws cover three main areas: merger control, abuse of dominance (or ‘monopolization’) and anti-competitive agreements. Dominance itself is not a violation; it is the abuse of the dominant position that can constitute a violation.
Regarding anti-competitive agreements, all "agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings and concerted practices, which have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition” are prohibited. This is a very broad definition and covers, amongst others, oral agreements and can also result from unilateral conduct, such as information exchange.
Examples of agreements that are always prohibited are: price fixing agreements, agreements to limit production, market division agreements (geographic markets or customers) and bid rigging or collusive tendering. Examples of agreements that can be illegal, depending on the context and facts, are: joint purchasing, co-branding/co-promotion and co-marketing/joint advertising agreements.
In order to prevent antitrust law violations your organization will need to take certain measures, for instance develop and implement policies on contacts with competitors (which a.o. could take place at trade associations), guidelines for tender participation to prevent bid rigging, bid rotation or bid suppression schemes and tools for preventing pricing abuse.
Software package for the effective management of the compliance program antitrust laws. You will be able not only to evaluate the effectiveness of your program and the degree of compliance with regulations, but also will actually identify and track deviations in the manner of behavior and performance risk as your employees and affiliates.
GRCMD uses its advanced software solution that allows you to monitor and track the performance of a program to combat monopolistic collusion, as well as to evaluate its effectiveness with the help detect abnormalities in the system, such as vocabulary, outstanding risk appetite; deviation from the usual behavioral patterns; and risk indicators that warn you of potential or already impending violations and weaknesses of the organization. GRCMD can combine the data of your organization (such as payments, contracts, membership in trade associations, information on prices) with various publicly available information, such as lists of politically exposed persons (PEP), the state registers, the media and provide comprehensive reports on all departures. Also, GRCMD will provide feedback on all the weaknesses in the system of internal control and be able to start a workflow for reviewing and improving the system if necessary.
GRCMD offers the means to:
- analyze any gaps in the implementation of the compliance program to combat monopolistic collusion and improve it by adding the latest versions of laws, regulations and best practices;
- monitor the implementation of your compliance program to combat monopolistic collusion;
- organize and maintain your central library policies;
- document and control the application of corrective actions;
- conduct risk assessments directly within your market, industry, country; prognoses and select the appropriate corrective actions;
- pursues a consistent training, distance learning and information sessions to be entered in a personal matter;
- add predictive value by identifying (traces) of bribery and corruption in the early stages;
- monitor any deviations associated with bribery and corruption;
- receive feedback on the weaknesses of the internal control systems;
- run workflow for revision and improvement of internal control systems;
- automatically generate a report on the current state of affairs at any level, whether it's business unit, the national office of the company or the entire holding as a whole, as well as on any subject;
- generate reports not only on the basis of historical data, but also on the basis of predicted values, allowing your company to take a step towards integrated reporting.