ANTITRUST & COMPETITION LAW
Competition helps to keep prices down, provides more choice for the consumer, and produces higher quality products and services. It also leads to greater innovation.
Interactive Services' Antitrust course will help you fulfill your legal and ethical responsibility to guard against breaches of antitrust and competition laws.
WHAT IS ANTITRUST?
Video: Antitrust and competition laws and regulations ensure healthy competition in the open market.
Scenario: Suggestion to share company pricing structures.
Key Learning: Under no circumstances should you share official company or market-sensitive information with competitors.
Scenario: Language that may violate antitrust and competition laws.
Key Learning: The use of inappropriate words in both external and internal communications could be misinterpreted or mischaracterized by a regulator as indicative of an anti-competitive intent.
Scenario: Suggestion to share a market.
Key Learning: Agreements between competitors that restrict competition by fixing prices, limiting production, or sharing markets or customers are illegal.
DEALING WITH COMPETITORS
Interactive Screen: Consequences of entering into anti-competitive agreements; price fixing, sharing markets, comparing pricing, and bid collusion.
Scenario: Suggestion on entering a price management strategy with a competitor.
Key Learning: Price fixing can take many forms, and any agreement that restricts price competition violates the law.
Scenario: Identifying anti-competitive practices.
Key Learning: Collusion between parties to rig bids and control the market as a cartel breaks antitrust and competition laws.
DEALING WITH CUSTOMERS
Interactive Screen: Key elements of antitrust and competition rules and regulations concerning dealings with customers. Exclusivity agreements. Anti-competitive agreements. Pro-competitive arrangements. Abuse of a dominant position.
Interactive Screen: Protecting the free market. Real-life examples of the consequences of anti-competitive agreements.
Scenario: Customer will sign an exclusivity agreement in return for matching a competitor’s price.
Key Learning: Unless an agreement already exists between our company’s Legal department and a customer, or a new arrangement can be reached, our antitrust and competition policy prohibits us from entering into exclusivity arrangements with customers.
Scenario: Three customers want to force a fourth to set a minimum price for a region.
Key Learning: Agreements between competitors to fix, raise, lower, or control prices, or agree to a minimum price, a maximum price, or a common pricing system are unlawful.
COMMUNICATION & DOCUMENT CREATION
Interactive Screen: Real-life example that illustrates the consequences of including anti-competitive language in an internal communication.
Scenario: Identifying questionable wording in a strategy document.
Key Learning: Never put anything in a document that could be interpreted as being anti-competitive.
Scenario: Possible consequences of a joke email with anti-competitive language.
Key Learning: Always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to workplace communication and put a stop to emails that even straddle the line between offensive and acceptable.
WHAT IS EU COMPETITION LAW?
Interactive Screen: Recent fines. How does EU competition law affect you? What can the EU Commission do? Can individuals be held responsible?
Interactive Screen: Purpose of EU competition law. Rules and enforcement. Leniency policy. Mergers and state aid.
Scenario: Identifying the steps the EU Commission can take during an investigation.
Key Learning: The EU Commission has the power to investigate competition cases and make legally binding decisions.
EU LAW IN PRACTICE
Interactive Screen: Dealings with competitors. Dealings with customers. Dominant position.
Interactive Screen: Examples of EU competition cases.
Scenario: Imposing an exclusivity clause on customers.
Key Learning: Never act in a way that prevents competitors from competing effectively or drives them out of the market. If we are the dominant player in a market, we must be careful how we deal with customers and competitors.
Scenario: A distributor wants a guarantee that a company will not directly sell its product in their country and that it will prevent other distributors from selling in the country.
Key Learning: You should consider carefully any actions that might be seen to place restrictions on trade in the EU Single Market. “Market partitioning” breaches EU competition law. Distributors must be free to decide where they sell across the EU.
MORE ANTITRUST & COMPETITION LAW
To help you understand what you can and can’t do, Interactive Services’ Antitrust training examines some key elements of antitrust and competition rules and regulations concerning dealings with customers.
If an employee shares sensitive market information with competitors, your company could face severe monetary penalties, and the employee could even face prison. Employees must decline any offer to share such information and also report it, preferably in writing.
Collusion between parties to rig bids and control the market as a cartel breaks antitrust and competition laws. Bidding too high or too low and suppressing bids so that contracts can be rotated between colluding parties are infringements of antitrust and competition laws.
An exclusivity arrangement may be deemed anti-competitive. For example, in the European Union, if a business allocates a territory to a customer who is a distributor, where only that distributor can actively market itself as the distributor of the company’s goods, this can result in a reduction in competition in the market concerning the sale of the company’s goods in the territory and is therefore, in principle, anti-competitive.
By offering employees engaging and relevant training, you help prevent breaches of antitrust and anti-competition by making them aware of the risk, enabling them to spot red flags, and encouraging them to speak up.