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Business Articles Awards > General Antitrust

Holistic compliance: a more effective and efficient solution

Luis Gomez et al., Practical Law, forthcoming

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As the world of business becomes more global and complex, there has been an explosion in the number and importance of ’compliance areas’ that senior management and legal and compliance departments must take into account.
Risks are multiplying across subject areas (e.g., data, tax, Human Rights) - as are the geographies in which those areas of law are being actively enforced. The stance of regulators is changing in terms of their expectations around how companies manage their risk and the level of the penalties they impose where breaches occur (billions are now replacing millions).

Corporates looking to secure elusive growth, particularly in emerging markets, face a range of corporate compliance challenges throughout their supply chain.
An illustration of the trend towards more joined-up enforcement across a range of compliance areas is the recent vote by German lawmakers to introduce a national electronic register of companies that can be excluded from public procurement projects because they have committed economic or other serious offences, including those relating to antitrust, bribery, money laundering and tax evasion.
German law already provides for those companies to be excluded but the register enables contracting authorities to check, with a single electronic query, whether a company has committed relevant legal infringements anywhere in the country. In fact, for contracts above €30,000, authorities are obliged to check before awarding the contract.

This development reflects a worldwide trend of more joined-up enforcement. Recent high profile examples include banks being fined by antitrust agencies and financial services regulators in relation to the manipulation of benchmarks. Players in the gig economy and tech sector have attracted the attention of enforcers in relation to tax, data protection, employment and antitrust issues. Most high profile antitrust cases (whether relating to mergers or market dominance) now seem to raise issues relating to the complex interface between antitrust and data.

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