For companies that fail to see the importance of antitrust compliance as an organizational imperative, data recently released by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) provide a sobering reminder for why such compliance efforts are necessary. The DOJ announced that it collected nearly US$1.9 billion in criminal fines and penalties in the most recent fiscal year from prosecutions by its Antitrust Division. This marks the third straight year in which criminal fines collected by DOJ topped the US$1 billion mark. Fines in jurisdictions around the world increased significantly as well in 2014. Taken together, these statistics demonstrate that companies (and their executives) who fail to comply with the antitrust laws potentially face severe criminal consequences on a global scale.
This client alert provides a look at the three core components any antitrust compliance program needs to be truly effective, and outlines some next steps companies should take to address antitrust risks.