Bericht von der 11. ICN-Jahreskonferenz 2012 in Rio

Nicht von mir, denn ich war nicht dort. Bill Blumenthal hat seine Beobachtungen ins Netz gestellt. Aus dem Bericht aus Rio de Janeiro zu den Themen Compliance, Settlements und der Zukunft des ICN:

Compliance-Programme und Bußgeld:

Some government attendees in the audience expressed concern that some compliance programs were shams, sometimes intended to teach corporate personnel how to collude. That view was not endorse by the panel members, including EC and US government panelists.

Hierzu habe Carles Esteva Mosso (EU) folgende Position vertreten:

Cartels in practice are almost always systematic with management involvement. He dismissed noncompliance by rogue employees as “mythical.”

Bruno Lasserre, der Leiter der Kartellbehörde Frankreichs,

gave a presentation on compliance programs. The talk was accompanied throughout by one slide (projected on four screens) that said in large font: “Compliance programmes are money spinners for the legal profession.” It’s not clear whether the slide was directed principally at the private sector non-governmental advisors (the NGAs) or at the agency representatives. It may have been intended as a provocative topic for debate, but the debate didn’t ensue, possibly for lack of time.

Zu Settlements:

I won’t name the speaker or his agency, but the presentation was intended to demonstrate the proposition that if the case law doesn’t support an intervention that the agency would like to pursue, the agency can nonetheless sometimes coerce a settlement (my words, not the speaker’s) by using its investigative powers and the associated capability to impose burdens, and it should consider trying to do so. A particular coerced settlement was offered as a successful war story. That sort of conduct happens, even in major jurisdictions, but it’s not a practice followed by responsible enforcers. Seeing the settlement held out with endorsement, rather than as an example of unsound practice, sent the wrong message to emerging regimes.

Und zur zukünftigen Rolle des ICN:

As originally envisioned, ICN’s work was to be directed at furthering procedural and substantive consensus and convergence among member agencies. That’s still a mission … Increasingly, though, the ICN’s missions have shifted to what might be characterized as the business of being a competition agency, with a heavy dose of boosterism … The agency effectiveness mission highlights efforts to run members more effectively and efficiently, with such topics as HR practices and media relations. Both of those are worthwhile missions, and arguably advocacy is the most important of all missions served by competition agencies, but they have fewer direct implications for the legal standards applicable to the business community.

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