Comply with Competition Law and avoid serious violations

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Article: Comply with Competition Law and avoid serious violations

DB Group's cooperation with its business partners is based on the standards and expectations of DB's Code of Conduct for Business Partners. Particular importance is given to compliance with competition law.

We expect our suppliers to comply with competition law, e.g. abstain from anti-competitive agreements on prices or territories and not to engage in bid-rigging.

Even small and medium-sized enterprises can prevent cartels and the substantial risks they bear very effectively and at reasonable costs.

On the German version of this site (see top right corner to change to the German version) you will find documents available for download issued by the Deutsches Insititut für Compliance e.V. (DICO; German Institute for Compliance) and the Bundesverband für Materialwirtschaft, Einkauf und Logistik e.V. (BME; Association Supply Chain Management, Procurement and Logistics). These documents provide you with an overview of the key requirements for effective competition compliance: 

  • DICO Guideline: Competition Law Compliance - Cornerstones of effective compliance programs (excerpt only, in German)
  • Example for a competition law code of conduct ("Dos & Don'ts"; in German)

On 1 January 2014, DB introduced its "Supplemental Contractual Terms of Deutsche Bahn AG and its affiliates for cartel prevention (SCC)". Since then, these terms are part of DB's contracts with suppliers operating on procurement markets prone to cartels. To comply with these supplemental contractual terms suppliers have to show that they either have an adequate competition law compliance programme in place or are newly introducing such a programme, including (i) competition law compliance guidelines, (ii) regular competition law trainings for the management and employees who have contacts with competitors and (iii) a qualified internal or external contact person for competition law related questions. Deutsche Bahn AG's motivation to introduce said supplemental contractual terms is twofold: On the one hand, minimizing the risk of falling prey to cartels on procurement markets and, on the other hand, supporting its suppliers in establishing or maintaining a competition law compliance programme. To identify markets prone to cartels, DB applies state of the art economic screening mechanisms.