On 24 December 2021 the Commission for Protection of Competition (hereinafter: the “Commission”) adopted Guidelines on Competition Compliance Programs (hereinafter: the “Guidelines”). The main idea behind the Guidelines is to facilitate the harmonization of business of market participants with the regulations on competition protection, and reduce infringements.
The reason for adopting the Guidelines is the need to better inform market participants about the importance of internal acts for harmonizing their business with competition rules. According to the Commission, the most frequent infringements of competition arise from insufficient knowledge of the participants on the rules under the Law on Protection of Competition (hereinafter: the “Law”), as well as due to the consequential non-compliance of their operations with the relevant regulations.
The Guidelines define the compliance program as an internal act of the company that helps the company comply with competition regulations in its business, and includes a set of activities, internal procedures, and documents that market participants design at their own initiative, or as part of commitments in the proceedings before the Commission.
Drafting and adoption of the internal compliance program should serve the purpose of informing all employees about their obligations arising from the Law, as well as from other acts, which would lead to a reduction of business risks due to non-compliance with regulations in this area.
Also, the Guidelines briefly explain the steps for drafting the program, the legal framework for the protection of competition, as well as potential business risks, how to identify them, and what are the prevention measures to minimize the possibility of infringements.