The Governance and Compliance components of anti-trust, competition and anti-corruption laws
Corruption and anti-competitive behaviour have different corporate consequences. The moral message encompasses social and political implications in both cases. The effects of competition law breaches are economical and are usually evaluated under administrative law. Pay the penalty and move on. Competition law violations are less visible to the end consumer, and the damage is less likely to be calculable compared to the forceful effects of bribery, fraud and corruption related to legal, business and reputational risks.
The impact of corruption revelations is often dramatic, while the impact of anti-competitive behaviour may not be directly visible to the individuals. Both anti-corruption law and competition regulations aim to create a level playing field and are in may respects complementary to each other in support of this objective. The corporate world, however, has different reaction techniques to breaches in the two areas, even though both are indispensable and can have adverse consequences for trust and reputation damage to the corporate image.
In may, ways corrupt behaviour will raise more reaction than a violation of competition law that seems to be more of an EU commission issue. The corporate response to corruption is often based on ethics and morals.
The lack of proper response may result from the complicated, less visible, less immediate nature of the effects of anti-competitive behaviour on consumers. Here are the reasons and differences for the commercial reaction to breaches in these two fields:
- Competition law aims to maintain shared prosperity through economic efficiency and enables the consumers to access a broad range of products at lower prices and with higher quality.
- Bribery, Fraud and Corruption consequences of unethical behaviour vary from country to country. Besides the economic implications, the unethical behaviour may lead to governance, democracy, poverty and inequality results on a larger scale.
Any crime, however, is subject to criminal enforcement
Anti-competitive behaviour is subject to administrative enforcement, leading to differing moral perceptions.
In the global corporate operations, companies encounter corruption for some reasons, from obtaining licenses to the daily functioning of the business.
The purpose of both mandates of anti-corruption law and competition law is to create a level playing field. Te oversight authorities applaud the efforts against corruption but are indifferent to the efforts against competition law offences.
At the 10th annual Nordic GRC and IT Security Summit in Copenhagen, we address the above issues at great length. We discuss the dramatic, sharp and wide-ranging effects of competition and corruption laws, as well as its criminal nature, while the consequences of corrupt practices and competition laws for visibility, economic sphere and the administrative and regulatory compliance issues.
Why do good companies misbehave and break competition law?
Christian Bergqvist, Ph.D. Professor, University of Copenhagen
The good, the bad and the ugly - Pitching compliance projects internally Practical examples of good selling points and compliance project pitfalls
Hanna Danwall, LLM, Head Of Competition Law, Carlsberg Group