Global: Nations use antitrust probes for broader agendas, says Freshfields

A review of global competition policy trends by Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has found that governments around the world are using antitrust regulation for broader political agendas, according to reports.

The law firm found that competition probes and litigation are sometimes used as a way to pressure companies to alter business practices.

Freshfields cited the recent eBooks price-fixing settlement in the US, as well as the LIBOR scandal cases across the globe as cases in which regulators exert pressure on firms in long-term efforts to have companies alter compliance; the action “will present a significant strategic challenge for many business in the year ahead,” said the report.

”As we see antitrust intertwining more closely with sector regulation, it is also no surprise that the growing number of parallel investigations looks set to continue on an upward trajectory,” the law firm predicted.

Freshfields pointed to the emergence of compliance monitors hired within companies to ensure adherence to competition law; companies are now mulling how that monitor should interact with the rest of the business, say reports.

Full Content: Wall Street Journal

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