Antitrust Compliance Toolkit
Resources to conduct an antitrust audit and implement a compliance program.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has made criminal prosecution of cartel ( www.practicallaw.com/1-501-4666) antitrust violations a major priority. In 2015, the DOJ collected over $3.6 billion in criminal fines and penalties, almost three times the amount collected in 2014. Individual defendants are often likely to be sentenced to prison time, and the average length of incarceration for antitrust offenses has increased from 14.5 months in fiscal years 1996 to 2005 to 24 months in fiscal years 2006 to 2015.
While the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) does not prosecute criminal antitrust cases, it is active in pursuing civil actions for offenses under the Sherman Act and Clayton Act. The FTC has also sought to expand its civil enforcement authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act, which prohibits unfair methods of competition not otherwise reached by the federal antitrust laws.
Because an antitrust investigation or prosecution can have severe consequences, companies must ensure that they have in place an effective antitrust compliance program. An antitrust compliance program helps companies by:
Educating employees about conduct that violates antitrust laws and the related potential penalties.
Providing employees and executives with efficient means to report suspected violations.
Encouraging early detection of any violations that do occur, allowing the company to apply for amnesty from criminal prosecution.
Mitigating potential criminal liability under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, if the company does not qualify for amnesty.
The Antitrust Compliance Toolkit provides several continuously maintained resources to guide counsel in creating, implementing, and auditing a company's antitrust compliance program. In addition to resources specifically on compliance, this Toolkit also includes resources on the substantive federal antitrust laws that are relevant to company compliance efforts and on recent government antitrust investigations.