Thursday, August 20, 2009
Hear No Evil, See No Evil: Why Antitrust Compliance Programmes May Be Ineffective at Preventing Cartels
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
Andreas Stephan of the University of East Anglia Centre for Competition Policy has an interesting paper on Hear No Evil, See No Evil: Why Antitrust Compliance Programmes May Be Ineffective at Preventing Cartels.
ABSTRACT: Cartel practices attract enormous corporate fines, even where they only involve a handful of employees. Internal compliance programmes are thought to protect firms by training employees and auditing their activities. However, this paper argues that such programmes are ineffective because cartelists typically know what they are doing is illegal, go to great lengths to avoid detection and are usually senior managers. Moreover, compliance programmes do not mitigate cartel fines, despite their being imposed on the whole corporation years after an infringement has occurred. It is argued that the threat of criminal sanctions against individuals is essential to effective internal compliance.