Challenges of Antitrust Compliance for Global Companies
Jean-Yves Trochon, Group Deputy General Counsel, Lafarge Mep, France
Introduction: Doing business in a globalised world for Groups of companies operating in dozens of countries, the issue of compliance is becoming one of the key challenges they have to face in terms of organization and risk management. It is commonsense to highlight that if national laws are converging in the vast majority of countries thanks to the globalisation process, one should not expect the emergence of solid rules of uniform international law in the near future, except in certain limited areas such as international fight against corruption (with the 1997 OECD Convention and the UNO Merida Convention, among other international instruments). However, even without a mature and uniform "law of globalisation", global companies are experiencing a growing need to apply consistent standards wherever they operate. Not only because it does make a lot of sense from a management perspective (eg safety, security or health standards), but also because international business standards are designed to meet stakeholders aspirations, which tend to become similar in a growing number of countries. Pascal, the 17th Century philosopher, insisted that any certainty in a given country might be a mistake in another one ("Vérité en deçà des Pyrénées, erreur au-delà"). In the context of the globalised business world, this is now just the contrary: any good practice or standard in a given country might rapidly be replicated all over the world through the so-called "soft-law" principle.
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