The War on International Cartels: Traps for the Unwary

Casee Sills, Legal Associate, The Main Street America Group, USA
Bruce Fox, VP, General Counsel & Secretary, The Main Street America Group, USA

It is generally accepted that competition is good for business and good for consumers in part because competition encourages innovation and provides an incentive for businesses to reduce costs and thus lower prices. While in some situations monopolies and other anti-competitive business arrangements are lawful, and even encouraged by way of limited exemptions from antitrust laws , overall most governments around the world view competition as the backbone of a healthy, innovative economy. As such, nations all over the world have in varying degrees enacted laws that impose civil and in some cases criminal sanctions on certain business arrangements and conduct deemed anti-competitive. Cartels , the subject of this article, are currently viewed by many nations as particularly evil and the focus of new laws and investigative efforts that impact almost every type of global business concern imaginable. In the current economic environment, the struggle for profits is a major concern for businesses around the world. In an effort to obtain or maintain profit, some businesses have intentionally or unintentionally run afoul of a myriad of international laws prohibiting anti-competitive transactions in general and “cartels” in particular. This is a very complex area of international law where several nations with differing laws may have jurisdiction over a particular business arrangement. This article is not a complete guide to the legal implications of any particular business arrangement, but rather is an attempt to assist corporate counsel in understanding the multiplex of legal issues that may arise from an international business transaction that one or more nations may view as “cartel” activity, and describe certain steps corporate counsel may want to consider in addressing those issues. Finally, this article will present some practical considerations to assist corporate counsel in crafting a corporate strategy designed to mitigate international anti-competitive exposure and provide insight into what a company that is involved in a “cartel” investigation may encounter.

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USA Competition Insurance October 2014 Vol. 8, No. 29, Autumn 2014

Casee Sills


Casee S. Sills is a Legal Associate with The Main Street America Group. Ms. Sills has been practicing law in Florida, US, since 2012, beginning as a Florida Assistant State Attorney. She joined The Main Street America Group in 2013 in its regulatory state filings department and then was promoted to her current role as Legal Associate. Her current duties include assisting corporate counsel with contracts, complex commercial litigation, licensing, regulatory compliance, and legal research of statutes and regulations in multiple jurisdictions. Ms. Sills is admitted to the state courts in both Florida and Georgia.

Bruce Fox


Bruce R. Fox is the Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary at The Main Street America Group (MSA) in Jacksonville, Florida. MSA is a national property/casualty insurance holding company. Mr. Fox has been in the legal field for 35 years, most of wh

The Main Street America Group


The Main Street America Group is a US-based property/casualty insurance company providing insurance products to individuals and businesses throughout the US. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, The Main Street America Group offers a wide range of commercial and personal insurance products, as well as fidelity and surety bond products, to "Main Street" individuals, families and businesses through nine property/casualty insurance carriers. A.M. Best Company gives The Main Street America Group insurance carriers a financial strength rating of "A" (Excellent) and an issuer credit rating of “A+.” The Main Street America Group is the founding company partner of Trusted Choice®, the branding program of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, as well as one of several investor carriers in the independent agency system’s Consumer Agent Portal.

USA Competition Insurance October 2014 Vol. 8, No. 29, Autumn 2014