Loose Lips Sink Ships: Training Employees on Antitrust Compliance

This Legal Update highlights resources that in-house counsel can use to train employees and executives on antitrust compliance.

Practical Law

Violations of antitrust laws can be extremely costly. Antitrust fines imposed by the government on individual companies have exceeded $100 million, and civil damages can prove even more expensive. To help prevent, detect, and mitigate the costs associated with violations of antitrust laws, in-house counsel should ensure that employees and executives understand basic US antitrust law concepts and can recognize scenarios in which possible antitrust violations may arise.

Practical Law has downloadable, customizable training materials that in-house counsel can use to bring employees and executives up to speed on these important antitrust concepts. Standard Document, Antitrust Overview (US): Presentation Materials ( www.practicallaw.com/8-586-1165) provides an overview of US antitrust law, including a discussion of:

  • Why employees need to know about antitrust laws.

  • Entities that enforce the antitrust laws.

  • The Sherman Act's prohibitions against:

    • agreements that unreasonably restrain trade; and

    • unlawful monopolization.

  • Other antitrust statutes, including:

    • the Clayton Act;

    • the Robinson-Patman Act;

    • the Federal Trade Commission Act; and

    • the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act.

  • Government investigations.

  • Civil and criminal sanctions.

Standard Document, Antitrust Hypotheticals for Compliance Training: Dealings with Competitors ( www.practicallaw.com/5-520-2948) uses hypothetical scenarios to help employees recognize agreements or dealings with competitors that could form the basis of a per se (or automatic) violation of the antitrust laws. The hypotheticals cover a variety of common business activities that may lead to competitor agreements on:

  • Prices or bids.

  • Allocation of customers or territories.

  • Boycotts (also known as joint refusals to deal).

Effective employee training is one element of a comprehensive antitrust compliance program. For a selection of resources that counsel can use to design and implement (or revise an existing) antitrust compliance program, see Antitrust Compliance Toolkit ( www.practicallaw.com/8-500-3805) .

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