Compliance with anti-trust legislation
Fair competition as a basis of our business policy
Anti-trust legislation serves to ensure free and effective competition. The management of the company is convinced that a business policy based on fair competition is best suited to serve the interests of the company as well as the interests of its shareholders and employees.
Anti-trust compliance program
For this reason, some years ago Wienerberger already introduced an anti-trust compliance program. Through the provisions of the anti-trust guideline, our employees are made aware of problems that may arise in the field of anti-trust law. The rules of conduct laid down in the guideline provide orientation on sensitive issues of competition law and are to be strictly observed. Among other issues, the guideline contains strict rules regarding contacts with competitors, especially with regard to market behavior, information exchange, prices and delivery conditions, and other forms of cooperation. As regards contacts with customers, distributors and suppliers, there are rules governing the determination of selling price ranges and other restrictions for distributors as well as exclusivity agreements.
The guideline also includes provisions on intellectual property rights and mergers.
Internal audit unit monitors anti-trust compliance
Within the framework of the anti-trust compliance program, all local companies of the Wienerberger Group are obliged to organize regular training sessions. As a rule, anti-trust training events are organized once a year and conducted by a national anti-trust expert or our inhouse legal counsel. The local management is responsible for the organization of the training event and the selection of employees to be trained. The internal audit unit verifies that training programs have been held and monitors compliance with the guideline.
Price-fixing is prohibited and entails sanctions
On account of the market position held by the Wienerberger Group in individual markets, the price policies of our subsidiaries are followed attentively by the anti-trust authorities. There were no negative findings by the authorities in charge in 2014. This confirms the effectiveness of our compliance regime. We wish to point out that price agreements are not part of Wienerberger’s business practice; our internal guidelines explicitly prohibit such agreements and provide for severe sanctions in the event of violations.