Competition Law Reform; leniency, settlements, compliance and the prohibition to contract with the Administration

Jones Day Madrid Office
Paseo de Recoletos 37-41
Planta 5ª
28004 Madrid

On March 12, 2019, the Madrid Office celebrated a client breakfast seminar in which Ms. Beatriz de Guindos, Director of the Spanish Competition Authority, presented the priorities of action of the Competition Unit for 2019 and analyzed the issues for a possible reform of the Competition Defense Law, discussing topics such as leniency, settlements, compliance and the prohibition of contracting with the Administration. Marta Delgado and Raimundo Ortega, Antitrust partners in Madrid, acted as moderators.

Key takeaways:

  • Firstly, Beatriz de Guindos highlighted that even though the Spanish Competition Act is functioning well, some adjustments are in order, especially in light of the new Directive (EU) 2019/1 ECN+. 
  • Secondly, settlement procedure will be introduced, and leniency applications will be enhanced. Leniency applications in particular will be improved by ensuring that the company heads involved in the infringements will be granted immunity in the criminal jurisdiction. 
  • Finally, compliance programs have also been a topic of discussion. While companies usually implement such programs without foreseeing an effective surveillance, Ms. de Guindos stressed the importance of their daily monitoring in order to prevent future anti-competitive behaviors, and opened the door for good compliance programs to be considered as an attenuating circumstance.
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