ICA Guidelines on Antitrust compliance programs

ICA Guidelines on Antitrust compliance programs

written by Sara Gobbato

On 4th October 2018, the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) released the new Guidelines on Antitrust Compliance Programs, which entitle the undertakings to a mitigation of the administrative fines issued in proceedings opened by ICA from October 5th 2018.

In order to benefit from the mitigation, the undertaking shall submit a request to the ICA accompanied by an explanatory report that clarifies the reasons why the programme is adequate for the prevention of competition infringements. The reduction may be up to:

(i) 15%, for adequate compliance programmes that have worked effectively to enable the prompt detection and interruption of the infringement before the opening of proceedings. In cases eligible for leniency, such a reduction may be granted only if the undertaking has submitted a leniency application;

(ii) 10%, for programmes that are not manifestly inadequate, provided that the undertaking adequately amends the programme and begins its implementation after the opening of proceedings (and within six months from the opening of proceedings);

(iii) 5%, for programmes that are manifestly inadequate, only if the undertaking introduces substantial changes to the programme after the opening of proceedings (and within six months from the opening of proceedings).

Compliance programmes adopted ex novo, after the opening of proceedings, may qualify for a reduction of the fine up to 5%.

With reference to groups of undertakings, the Guidelines provide that, in the case of antitrust proceedings that involve the parent company, both the programmes adopted and implemented by the parent company and the subsidiaries Parties to the proceedings will be considered; the adoption of a compliance programme by the parent company shall not be considered sufficient to exclude the liability of the parent company for the anticompetitive

conducts of its subsidiary.