Corporate compliance

The Competition Bureau offers a variety of resources to assist businesses and trade associations in recognizing and preventing anti‑competitive conduct, including support in establishing effective compliance programs within their organizations.

Compliance video

Promoting Corporate Compliance

Transcript

We’re the Competition Bureau of Canada.

And if you’re watching this video, chances are that you are part of a Canadian business.

Well, we’d like to talk to you about a little thing we call COMPLIANCE.

Let’s get started.

First of all… we believe that competition is a healthy thing, and a positive force in our market economy.

Healthy competition takes place at every level in business in Canada… even the most humble ones!

It’s a fact that many innovations have come about by the need to carve out a special niche or compete against competitors.

And that’s often how great ideas and great products are born.

But… people don’t always play fair.

Sometimes, companies take wrongful actions to draw customers away from competitors who offer products or services in an honest manner.

Such conduct may go against the Competition Act.

It’s not fair.

It’s not honest.

And the losers in this battle for loyalty and attention are the consumers, the competitors and the Canadian economy.

We’re talking about price‑fixing, bid‑rigging, false or misleading representations, abuse of dominance, and a lot of other ways in which some businesses act fraudulently or non‑competitively.

Fact is, every business in this country is required to act lawfully,

and the risks and penalties of NOT complying with the Competition Act and other legislation governing business can be… devastating.

So… it just makes sense to build your own solid compliance program, a program that will help you to identify and detect things you or your employees might be doing wrong, and to put processes in place to establish procedures, training, and monitoring that will help you keep your ship on the right course.

A compliance program is a way of operating that involves everyone… meaning all employees from the mailroom to the executive offices.

As a business leader, you need to build in the time, the resources, and the collective will to make your compliance regime… business as usual.

Building an effective and credible compliance program can help you create what we call a “culture of compliance”, and it will solidify your reputation.

Just makes sense, right?

I mean, who wants law suits, fines, bad publicity and… jail time?

So start with us: We have tools to help you build a rock‑solid compliance program for your company.

Visit our website and check our Corporate Compliance Programs bulletin at www.competitionbureau.gc.ca.

Complying with the law is good for business, good for consumers and good for the economy.

(Canada Wordmark)

Video Length: 3 minutes, 20 seconds

Compliance programs

Corporate Compliance Programs

The Bureau publishes various guidelines, bulletins and pamphlets to provide information and to promote compliance with the Competition Act, the Consumer Packaging and Labelling Act, the Textile Labelling Act and the Precious Metals Marking Act.

The Bulletin on Corporate Compliance Programs provides guidance to help Canadian businesses design their own program to prevent or minimize their risk of contravening the Acts, and to detect contraventions, should they occur.

The Bureau recognizes that certain businesses may already have a program in place and encourages them to take the opportunity to ensure that the essential components highlighted in the Bulletin are reflected in their program.

Businesses should take a proactive approach when promoting compliance. All businesses should recognize the value of a well-designed, credible and effective program.

  • To be credible, a program must demonstrate the company's commitment to conducting business in conformity with the law.
  • To be effective, it needs to inform employees about their legal duties, the need for compliance with internal policies and procedures as well as the potential costs, actual and opportunity (i.e., the cost of not complying with the law) of contravening the law and the harm it may cause to the Canadian economy.

A good corporate compliance program helps to identify the boundaries of permissible conduct, as well as identify situations where it would be advisable to seek legal advice. In some cases, courts have recognized a credible and effective compliance program as a mitigating factor when assessing remedies in the event of a breach.

Some of the specific benefits of a well-designed program include:

  • helping to maintain a good reputation;
  • reducing costs related to litigation, fines, adverse publicity and the disruption to operations resulting from Bureau investigation and proceedings before the court;
  • reducing the exposure of employees, senior management and the corporation to criminal, civil or penal liability;
  • assisting a company and its employees in assessing the competition risks they may face;
  • assisting a company and its staff in their dealings with the Bureau; for example, by identifying contraventions of the Acts early enough to request immunity or lenient treatment;
  • improving a business' ability to recruit and retain staff — an ethical company is likely to attract higher-quality employees and have positive retention rates;
  • improving a business' ability to attract and retain customers and suppliers who value companies that operate ethically; and
  • assisting a business to qualify, in certain circumstances, for a reduced sentence or other lenient treatment where a contravention of any of the Acts has occurred.
ICC toolkit

ICC Antitrust Compliance Toolkit

Published in April 2013, the International Chamber of Commerce’s Antitrust Compliance Toolkit is intended to provide practical tools for small, medium and large companies wishing to build and maintain a robust corporate compliance program.

The ICC Toolkit complements materials produced by competition law enforcement agencies and other sources of guidance, by focusing on practical steps companies can take internally to embed a successful compliance culture.

Practical tools

This section provides you with useful products, easy to print and to refer to for initial guidance.

Pamphlet

Fact Sheets

Resources
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