Competition Law

Violating competition laws never pays

Competition laws – also referred to as antitrust laws – are designed to protect competition. They prohibit business behaviour which has the objective or the effect of preventing, restricting or distorting competition (e.g. price fixing and the allocation of markets or customers).

Roche supports all efforts to promote and protect competition, including the legitimate protection of intellectual property and marketing rights.

Roche has set up a comprehensive antitrust compliance program. Employees who have to deal with competition issues in their work are expected to understand the basic principles of competition law and the importance of complying with such laws. If an answer to a specific antitrust question is not clear, employees must seek help and advice.

The penalties for breaching competition laws are severe. In addition to Roche’s liability as a company, employees who engage in anticompetitive behaviour will be subject to penalties.

Despite Roche’s commitment to complying with applicable competition laws, Roche may become the subject of an unannounced investigation by antitrust authorities (called a “dawn raid”). In the event of an investigation, Roche will fully cooperate with the investigators and will not destroy any documents, data or official seals.

Roche employees involved in a tender process must be aware of and comply with the applicable tender law regulations. Transparency must be maintained throughout the procurement cycle by adhering to applicable formal procedures and provide the governmental decision makers with correct, transparent and non-discriminatory data.

Roche respects the legitimate undertakings of its competitors, including generic and biosimilar manufacturers. However, it is expected that they comply with applicable laws, regulations and industry codes. Roche does not tolerate misleading claims which disparage its products, and protects its products and interests against unfair competition.

We are all expected to:
  • Comply with applicable competition laws and not disturb or hinder legitimate competition in any anticompetitive manner.
  • Seek legal advice in case of any doubt.
  • Fully cooperate with the authorities in the event of an investigation.
Questions & Answers

I work in the Marketing Department and know a competitor is granting high rebates to customers in order to enhance its market share. May I contact this competitor and agree on the sales prices and on allocating certain customers and markets?

No. Jointly determining sales or purchase prices and allocation of customers and markets is a serious violation of competition law. Roche strictly prohibits such anticompetitive behaviour by its employees.

Antitrust authorities have started an investigation (“dawn raid”) in the Roche company where I work. Some recent correspondence I had with a Roche competitor is making me nervous because it might be construed as evidence of anticompetitive behaviour. Should I destroy the correspondence?

No. Under no circumstances may any documents or data which could be relevant to an antitrust investigation be destroyed (for further details see chapter “Records Management”). In the event of an investigation, Roche will fully cooperate with the authorities.

We are invited to tender. During an industry association meeting I agree with my competitors not to bid for the tender. Is this behaviour allowed?

No, this behaviour is an anticompetitive behaviour and thus a violation of competition law.

Further Informations

Further information and guidance: Roche Directive Behaviour in Competition – A Guide to Competition Law; Roche Guideline on Competition Law Investigation (“Dawn Raid”); Roche Guideline on Tenders; Roche Questionnaire Behaviour in Competition Compliance (self-assessment tool); eLearning program “Competition Law Interactive Dialogues” (RoCLID). These materials can be found on the Roche intranet (website of Group Legal Department).
Help & advice: In case of questions regarding compliance with competition laws, please contact your Line Manager, the Group Legal Department, the local Compliance Officer, the Chief Compliance Officer or the Roche Group Code of Conduct Help & Advice Line.
Speak up: If you believe in good faith that in connection with a business where Roche is involved someone has done, is doing, or may be about to do something that violates the provisions regarding competition laws, speak up by using the available speak up channels.