ICC launches two antitrust advocacy tools in Sydney

  • 27 April 2015
World Chambers Congress

The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is pleased to announce the publication of its new antitrust compliance toolkit for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Entitled “Why Complying with Competition Law is Good for Your Business” (ICC SME Toolkit) and the ICC Recommendations on Pre-Merger Notification Regimes, ICC announced the publication during the 7th Annual ICC Roundtable on Competition Policy on 27 April in Sydney.

It is on the occasion of the 14th International Competition Network (ICN) Annual Conference that the ICC Commission on Competition presented its latest advocacy tools to international antitrust experts and agencies during a roundtable dedicated to hot topics in global competition law. These cover antitrust compliance for small businesses, pre-merger control best practices, and foreign investment reviews.

Paul Lugard, Chair of the ICC Commission on Competition and Partner at Baker Botts, said: “The Annual ICC Roundtable on Competition Policy has gained significant recognition from the global antitrust community over the years. These events are an ideal forum for the ICC Competition Commission to introduce and discuss key business-led initiatives in competition policy.”

Following a keynote speech delivered by Rod Sims, Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the event opened with the launch of the ICC SME Toolkit – a set of practical tools to help smaller businesses to improve competition law compliance.

The ICC SME Toolkit was developed by the ICC Task Force on Antitrust Compliance and Advocacy chaired by corporate in-house antitrust counsel Anne Riley. The toolkit for smaller businesses was developed in response to a number of antitrust agencies’ requests for ICC to produce a toolkit specifically tailored to SMEs to improve antitrust compliance.

Anne Riley said: “I am very excited about the ICC SME Toolkit. Whilst the more extensive, ICC Antitrust Compliance Toolkit published in 2013, presents a comprehensive and sophisticated set of tools for all businesses, the main purpose of the SME Toolkit is to provide very simple tools and checklists to help SMEs both to understand why complying with competition law is good for business, and to help them do this in a practical way.”

The main purpose of the SME Toolkit is to provide very simple tools and checklists to help SMEs both to understand why complying with competition law is good for business, and to help them do this in a practical way.

Designed by business for smaller businesses, the ICC SME Toolkit is structured to provide information on three danger areas, five key elements of compliance, and ICC’s Top Ten Tips.

Mrs Riley moderated a panel on antitrust compliance for small businesses. Anny Tubbs, Chief Compliance Officer, Unilever Legal Group and one of the key contributors to the ICC SME Toolkit, participated in the panel alongside Michael Schaper, Deputy Chairman, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and former President of the Small Enterprise Association of Australia & New Zealand.

The ICC Recommendations on Pre-Merger Notification Regimes were unveiled during a second panel discussion on best practices in merger controls moderated by Patrick Hubert, Partner at Clifford Chance Europe and Chair of the ICC Task Force on Premerger Control Regimes.

Mr Hubert noted: “There is a need for a better balance between necessary merger control regimes and limiting the administrative burden put on welfare-enhancing business transactions. The ICC Merger Recommendations were designed with a view to enhance the efficiency of existing merger reforms at a global level.”

In the absence of a global authority responsible for international merger control, ICC considers it critical to develop a set of recommendations on the harmonization of merger control best practices and to engage with antitrust agencies at national and international levels on concerns and challenges faced by international business in this area.

In its policy statement, ICC sets out a number of recommendations on a way forward in simplifying global business transactions.  The policy statement examines the issues with current pre-merger notification regimes and concludes with long-term perspectives on merger notification regimes using the International Competition Network’s Recommended Practices for Merger Notification Procedures as a reference.

Speakers for this panel included Carles Esteva Mossso, Acting Deputy Director General for Mergers, European Commission, Hardin Ratshisusu, Acting Deputy Commissioner/Head, Mergers and Acquisitions at the Competition Commission of South Africa and Kaarli Eichhorn, Senior Counsel, EU Competition Law and Governmental Relations, General Electric.

Calvin Goldman, Partner at Goodmans and co-Chair of the ICC Task Force on ICN, led the final panel on the interface between foreign investment and merger reviews. Mr Goldman said: “Given the increasing importance of foreign investment review in the evolving regulatory world, it is important for an organization like ICC to foster an expert discussion on this hot topic.  This discussion will be beneficial to business and competition agency representatives attending the Roundtable particularly in relation to foreseeing process and substantive issues that may arise.” Ilene Gotts, Partner, Antitrust at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Andrew McBride, Acting Chief Compliance Officer at BHP Billiton and Paul Lugard spoke on that panel.

To download your copy of the new ICC SME Toolkit, click here.

ICC thanks Clifford Chance, Baker Botts and Schindler for supporting this event.