ICC antitrust compliance advocacy initiative extends to Brazil

  • 29 September 2014

A high-level seminar took place on 28 and 29 August in Sao Paulo to address competition law and policy and corporate compliance initiatives.

Hosted by the Center of Social and Economic Law Studies (CEDES) and the Brazilian Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), the event brought together legal experts and representatives from the private sector, competition authorities, and national and international organizations.

The two-day seminar entitled “Compliance and the Defense of Competition” discussed practical tools to help companies comply with existing legislation, particularly in light of the rapid progression of the CADE and Brazilian antitrust community. It focused extensively on the topic of compliance programmes as Brazil is expected to issue its own guidelines soon.

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. Discussions underlined the value of an exchange of information between agencies and their stakeholders, which could lead to a better understanding of how to manage competition compliance.

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 key contributors to the ICC Antitrust Compliance Toolkit and member of the Task Force on Compliance and Advocacy, spoke on a panel addressing “Building effective compliance programmes”. He announced that ICC will soon be rolling out an SME version of the Toolkit that will be even more concise and catered to the needs of SMEs.

Mr Pieri said: “I am very pleased to introduce the ICC Antitrust Compliance Toolkit to the antitrust community in Brazil. The reaction from the audience has been overwhelmingly positive.”

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. However, it was made clear that the effectiveness of compliance programmes is not found in the companies’ intentions, but rather in concrete results.

Lastly, the need to promote the globalization of competition compliance legislation and build international consensus and coherence on how to treat compliance programmes garnered considerable attention from participants.

The ICC Commission on Competition gathers over 300 experts on competition law, including legal advisors from industrial and commercial enterprises and lawyers in private practice, 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.

For more information visit ICC Commission on Competition.

Download a copy of the ICC Antitrust Compliance Toolkit.