Ocean Air International (OAI) values its clients trust above all else and it is fundamental for OAI to safeguard its reputation. Complying with antitrust laws build up trust and protects OAI reputation. The OAI Corporate Business Principles establish the clear policy that OAI complies with antitrust laws throughout the world and FIDI-FAIM Anti-Trust Charter.
Abiding by antitrust rules is fundamental for creating and sustaining a competitive economy which ultimately benefits society. OAI firmly believes that complying with antitrust laws is the right thing to do for OAI, and benefits its clients. In line with the FIDI-FAIM charter and guidelines, OAI supports the view that anticompetitive behaviors that hinder the functioning of markets should be prohibited and punished.
Compliance with antitrust laws is of key importance to OAI’s business and to OAI’s reputation). Every single employee at OAI is expected to comply with all applicable antitrust laws and every OAI manager is required to take any action necessary to achieve this result and seek to avoid even the appearance of any wrong doing. OAI cannot afford the possibility that non-compliance with antitrust laws could in any way damage the hard won trust which client(s) have in OAI.
OAI has committed to report transparently on any antitrust investigation affecting OAI in line with the FIDI-FAIM Anti-trust charter. In this environment every OAI manager has to be diligent in ensuring that all employees live up to OAI’s principles and commitments in all business dealings.
All OAI employees must demonstrate their awareness of antitrust laws when engaging with any competitor, customer or supplier. To do this all employees must understand the basic rules of antitrust laws to ensure compliance when executing their day-to-day roles.
The basics of Antitrust Laws
Antitrust laws protect free and unrestricted competition between all players at all levels of the supply chain. In summary, antitrust laws prohibit:
- Agreements or concerted practices (such as a common understanding) that aim at or result in the restriction of competition and the abuse of a dominant position.
Basically, this means that OAI must compete independently from other market players and must not seek to control. OAI must not coordinate its competitive behavior with other companies to try to avoid or reduce the rigors and uncertainty of a competitive market place. The most obvious examples of unlawful behavior are price fixing between competitors.
Relationships with Competitors
When it comes to relationships with competitors, the most severe infringements of antitrust law are:
- Price Fixing
Price fixing between competitors is one of the most serious breaches of antitrust laws and is regarded as a hard-core cartel, punishable by the highest levels of fines; it is also a criminal offence punishable with imprisonment in many countries. Price fixing relates to any agreement or concerted practice between competitors that restricts, or aims to restrict price competition. OAI employees must always make decisions about pricing and commercial terms independently of competitors and must never discuss pricing or commercial terms with competitors.
- Market Sharing
Agreements and concerted practices between competitors to allocate markets, whether by product, territory, channel, type or size of customer, or in any other way, are illegal.
- Bid rigging (coordinating tenders)
Co-coordinating tenders between competitors is a serious infringement of antitrust law and a criminal offence. Competitors must bid independently of others.
- Exchange of confidential and commercially sensitive information
It is not permissible to exchange confidential information which may reduce or remove any degree of uncertainty between competitors in respect of current or future market conduct. Confidential Information includes pricing, credits or discounts, The mere receipt of such information can be illegal, even if the employee does not reciprocate by disclosing similar information.
The ramifications of breaking antitrust laws are serious, both for OAI and individual employees.
Antitrust investigations attract significant attention in the supply chain marked and damage OAI’s reputation in the market and more importantly damage consumers’ and stakeholders’ trust in the Company. In addition, antitrust investigations and fines can undermine OAI’s credibility in its dealings with regulatory agencies.
Breaking antitrust laws may result in ever increasing fines.
- Criminal risk:
In many countries infringing antitrust law is a criminal offence for individual employees. Employees involved in illegal anticompetitive practices can face time in prison
- Civil liability/Damages:
OAI may also be sued by injured parties for damages resulting from infringement of antitrust laws. This includes Class Actions of groups of victims of antitrust law infringements.
- Contractual risk:
Illegal terms in a contract can lead to the offending clause or even the whole agreement being deemed void and unenforceable.
- Internal costs:
In addition to these penalties, the cost of defending antitrust claims or investigations by the authorities can be staggering both in terms of external legal fees and loss of management time due to the serious disruption of day-to-day business.
Implementation, Reporting and Training
This Policy sets out minimum standards enshrined in OAI’s antitrust compliance culture, which ultimately benefits consumers, customers, the market and OAI.
The implementation of the Policy is conducted both at Management and Market level. Every OAI manager and employee is expected to take full responsibility for antitrust compliance and ensure correct individual behavior at all times. OAI will ensure that the it is able to proactively support and advance OAI’s antitrust compliance commitments.
Providing with information to OAI’s employees to make sure they comply at all times with the applicable antitrust laws and monitoring compliance within the Company forms an integral part of OAI’s antitrust compliance culture.