Failing to recognize antitrust risk is costly. Violations of the antitrust laws may result in penalties for individuals of up to $1 million and 10 years’ imprisonment and for corporations of up to $100 million. In the last 30 years, dozens have been sentenced to serve one year or more of jail time for antitrust crimes. One of these executives was sentenced to a ten year term. There is no parole from federal sentences. The DOJ’s corporate and individual leniency policies encourage whistle-blowing by essentially giving the first member of a conspiracy who provides evidence to the government a “get out of jail free” card. Inevitably in the wake of government enforcement, and often even before government action once a violation is exposed, private lawsuits are filed seeking injunctions and treble damages, and attorneys’ fees for the plaintiffs’ attorneys.
For all of these reasons, the development, implementation and continuous review of a comprehensive antitrust compliance program is a necessity. Antitrust compliance programs reduce risk and save money in the long run. Here are some guidelines for an effective compliance program.
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