23 July 2019
On July 11, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division unveiled its new policy requiring prosecutors to credit qualifying corporate compliance programs at the charging and sentencing stages of a criminal antitrust investigation, even if the compliance program was in place at the time of an alleged antitrust violation and did not prevent the conduct at issue. The Division also issued detailed guidance on what elements it will consider when evaluating whether a compliance program will qualify for credit. Due to the extraterritorial reach of the U.S. antitrust laws, this policy shift has important implications for all companies whose business has an effect on U.S. commerce and underscores the importance of developing and maintaining a robust corporate compliance program. Companies should carefully scrutinize their existing antitrust compliance programs to ensure that they would be considered “effective” pursuant to the Division’s newly-issued guidance.