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B UNDES W ETTBEWERBS B EHÖRDE. SOFIA COMPETITION FORUM 12 th November 2012. B UNDES W ETTBEWERBS B EHÖRDE. Advocacy as a tool for voluntary compliance. Goal: maximize voluntary compliance with competition law

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BUNDESWETTBEWERBSBEHÖRDE

SOFIA COMPETITION FORUM

12thNovember 2012


Advocacy as a tool for voluntary compliance

BUNDESWETTBEWERBSBEHÖRDE

Advocacy as a tool for voluntary compliance

  • Goal: maximize voluntary compliance with competition law

    UK Study 2011 on deterrence identified three key pillars of compliance that are closely interlinked and support each other:

  • knowledge and awareness of competition law,

  • sanctions and enforcement, and

  • voluntary compliance measures

    In Austria distinguish two types of actions:

  • prevent infringements to happen

  • stop already existing infringements


BUNDESWETTBEWERBSBEHÖRDE

  • Traditional tools for advocacy (inter alia):

  • Successful enforcement – track record (do well and talk about it!)

    UK study shows that tools and sanctions are important drivers of compliance. Most important are fines to the company, reputational damage to the company and criminalsanctions

    → needeffectiveenforcementtools to ensurecompliance


BUNDESWETTBEWERBSBEHÖRDE

2. Explaining/promoting the aims and scope of the laws;

Especially small and medium undertakings often lack precise knowledge, do not have a compliance officer etc.

3. Input in the legislative process

4. Interact successfully with the courts

5. Relations with regulatory bodies in specific sectors


Further
Further…

BUNDESWETTBEWERBSBEHÖRDE

Try to show the business community the choices/advantages competition offers!

“competition policies in countries with economies in transition and in developing countries have been adopted in an environment where economic activity was formerly fairly concentrated, mostly as a result of past government policies and intervention. For this reason, these laws might be seen as instruments for speeding up the process of change in which economic activity is in principle defined by private ownership and market forces rather than by State ownership and control”

(Khemani, 1996)


BUNDESWETTBEWERBSBEHÖRDE

  • Essential prerequisite for the institutional development process: political support for the agencies

  • If there is no political agreement to support competition principles and defend the necessary independence of competition agencies, the regulatory framework risks being taken over by the very undertakings to which it applies and the agencies’ advocacy function is severely hampered

  • Example: Austrian ongoing legislative debate on the new Competition Act: an uphill battle!


BUNDESWETTBEWERBSBEHÖRDE

Examples of further promoting voluntary compliance in Austria:

  • Informative Website (twitter)

    Summary of decisions by the cartel Court

    Enforcement record

    latest developments (e.g. conducted dawn raids in private houses!)

  • Competition Journal

  • Competition lunches (new!):

    small audience, open and more detailed discussion, less organizational effort

  • Conferences

  • Speeches

  • Leavelet

    Problems:

  • Lack of understanding by the political players

  • Fierce lobbying by business community


BUNDESWETTBEWERBSBEHÖRDE

Thank you for your attention!

www.bwb.gv.at

Twitter: BWB_WETTBEWERB