We are committed to full compliance with competition laws, and the enforcement of competition laws against those third parties who act in an anti-competitive manner towards our Company.
We prohibit all forms of anti-competitive conduct with our competitors, including:
- price fixing and bid-rigging;
- fixing other competitive terms, such as margins or rebates;
- limiting production, or agreeing to reduce or limit production capacity;
- allocating markets, customers, suppliers or geographic territories; and
- boycotting any customer or supplier.
We have also established standards and procedures to ensure that the Compliance and Legal Functions conduct a prior legal review of competition law-sensitive activities.
For example, prior legal review is required before entering into many types of agreements with competitors, and before joining any trade association or industry body involving competitors. Renewals of existing agreements or memberships are also subject to review.
Competition law risk assessments
All Businesses and Marketing are required to conduct periodic competition law risk assessments in consultation with the Compliance and Legal Functions. These follow our standard risk assessment process, including a process for identifying and regularly testing the effectiveness of the controls which are regarded as critical to manage competition law risk.
Competition law training and awareness
Each business and function identifies employees whose roles involve potential competition law risks, for example those having regular interaction with competitors. These employees receive regular training, developed and largely delivered by the Compliance Function. As with anti-corruption, competition law training may be delivered either online or in-person, and is focused on the needs of a business or function.
Steps are taken across BHP Billiton to regularly raise awareness of competition law issues. These include periodic messages from senior management emphasising the need for competition law compliance and the importance of working with integrity in our dealings with third parties including competitors.
Confidential reporting and investigations
Employees are supported and encouraged to report suspected competition issues via their manager, through the Legal and Compliance Functions or through EthicsPoint. We also encourage people to report anti-competitive behaviour of competitors, suppliers or customers.
The Compliance legal team manages investigations into all potential competition law issues, whether these are reported through EthicsPoint or by other means.