Israel: Cartels

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This country-specific Q&A provides an overview to cartels laws and regulations that may occur in Israel.

This Q&A is part of the global guide to Cartels. For a full list of jurisdictional Q&As visit http://www.inhouselawyer.co.uk/practice-areas/cartels/

  1. What is the relevant legislative framework?

    The Economic Competition Law, 5748-1988 (the "Competition Law") stipulates in Section 2(a) that a binding arrangement (cartel) is an arrangement made between persons conducting businesses in which at least one of them restricts himself in a manner that raises a risk of harm to competition.

    Section 2(b) of the Competition Law stipulates conclusive presumptions that, to the extent that they exist, there is a risk of harm to competition. The said presumptions are dealing with the following matters: (1) the price that will be required, offered or paid; (2) the profit that will be gained; (3) the division of the market, in whole or in part, according to the place of occupation or according to the persons or type of persons to be employed; and (4) the quantity or quality of the assets or services in the business.

    In 2015, the Supreme Court of Israel determined that, except in exceptional circumstances, Section 2(b) of the Competition Law would apply only to horizontal arrangements and in fact excluded the above conclusive presumptions from vertical arrangements.

    The Israeli legislatures adopted Section 2 of the Competition Law from Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. The Antitrust Tribunal and the various courts in Israel, which are required to interpret the Competition Law, are assisted in a regular basis by foreign rulings, particularly from the United States, the European Union, Australia and Canada.

    Section 3 of the Competition Law specifies statutory exemptions that exclude certain arrangements from the application of the Competition Law. The statutory exemptions are, as follows: (1) an arrangement that all of its bindings were determined by law; (2) an arrangement that all of its bindings are related to the right to use certain assets; (3) an arrangement between a person who grants a right in the land and a person who purchases such right, that all of its bindings are related to the type of assets or services in which the purchaser of the right will engage in that land; (4) an arrangement that all of its bindings are related to the growing and marketing of locally grown agricultural produce of certain types; (5) an arrangement to which the parties are a company and its subsidiary; (6) an arrangement that all of its bindings are related to international air transport or to integrated international transport, by air and by land; (7) an undertaking of a business seller in its entirety to the purchaser of the business not to engage in the same type of business, where the undertaking is not contrary to reasonable and accepted practices; and (8) an arrangement to which a workers' organization or an employers' organization is a party and all of its bindings are related to the employment of employees and the conditions of employment.

  2. To establish an infringement, does there need to have been an effect on the market?

    There is no need to have an effect on the market. The test for the applicability of Section 2(a) of the Competition Law is not to demonstrate actual harm to competition, but rather the "likelihood" to harm competition, i.e. a binding arrangement is an arrangement which can potentially harm competition. Therefore, there is no need for an actual effect on the market in order to consider the arrangement as a binding arrangement. In addition, Section 2(b) of the Competition Law stipulates conclusive presumptions that, to the extent that they exist, there is a risk of harm to competition, and for example – a horizontal arrangement that includes a binding on the price, is considered as a binding arrangement, even if such arrangement does not actually affect the market.

  3. Does the law apply to conduct that occurs outside the jurisdiction?

    The Competition Law is a territorial law in its nature. The purpose of the Competition Law is to promote the welfare of the Israeli consumer by maintaining and promoting competition in Israel. According to statements published by the Competition Commissioner, arrangements whose entire scope and effect are on markets outside of Israel were not treated, in general, under the provisions of the Competition Law. However, the Competition Law does apply to actions and arrangements made outside of Israel and that may affect the Israeli market. For example, foreign companies that coordinating a bid for a tender that take place in Israel would violate the Competition Law, even if the entire coordination, i.e. all the elements of the offence, was carried out outside of Israel.

    On September 16, 2013, the Competition Commissioner published a ruling regarding the GIS market, according to which various companies, including Alstom, Siemens and ABB, were parties to a binding arrangement since between the years of 1988 and 2004, the abovementioned companies used, according to the claim, to divide the market of the sale of global GIS, and to coordinate bids submitted to tenders, among others, to the Israel Electric Corporation (the "IEC"). In this regard, according to the Competition Commissioner’s ruling, the entire coordination was conducted outside of Israel, and the submission of the bids for the tenders was made by third parties. However, the Competition Authority conducted a criminal investigation, summoned foreign witnesses, and eventually published a ruling regarding the existence of a binding arrangement that even led to the filing of a class action and a tort claim by the IEC against the companies that were mentioned in the ruling.

  4. Which authorities can investigate cartels?

    The Competition Law authorizes the Competition Authority to investigate offences committed under the Competition Law, as well as related offences. The Competition Law provides that the investigation offices are considered as "Police Station" with respect to investigation powers, and the Competition Authority often cooperates with other authorities (such as the police, Israel Securities Authority, etc.) in investigative activities.

  5. What are the key steps in a cartel investigation?

    The Competition Authority has extensive powers with respect to the conduct of an investigation on suspicion of a binding arrangement. The Competition Authority initiates an investigation in accordance with the decision of the Competition Commissioner, and it is not limited to timetables (expect with respect to the limitation of offenses). In recent years, the Competition Authority has been conducting undercover investigations, in which the Competition Authority conducts covert investigative activities, including telephones monitoring, surveillance, etc. After the Competition Authority has collected sufficient evidence, the investigation becomes apparent, and then arrests are carried out, the Competition Authority raid the company's offices, seize computers and documents and investigate suspects and witnesses.

  6. What are the key investigative powers that are available to the relevant authorities?

    The investigative authorities granted to the Competition Authority are parallel to the investigative authorities of the Israel police on suspicion of committing other criminal offences. Subject to the receipt of a judge's decree (which is usually granted by the request of the Competition Authority), the Competition Authority is authorized to carry out wiretappings, arrests, raid a house or business, seize documents, investigate suspects, collect evidence and appeal for detention. During the Competition Authority's raids, documents are usually seized on a very wide scope, and except for cases that privileges (such as attorney-client privilege) are existed, the Competition Authority is not limited in the types and scopes of the documents it may seize. Even if a criminal investigation is not initiated, it is sufficient that the Competition Commissioner finds that it is possible to promote the enforcement of the provisions of the Competition Law in order to grant him the authorization to apply to any person under Section 46(b) of the Competition Law and demand the provision of information and documents.

  7. On what grounds can legal privilege be invoked to withhold the production of certain documents in the context of a request by the relevant authorities?

    As abovementioned, the Competition Commissioner's authority to demand the provision of documents, whether by a criminal investigation or by means of a civil inquiry, is very broad. The only exception to the above obligation of provision of documents, is statutory privileges specified in the Evidence Ordinance [New Version], 5731-1971, including attorney-client privilege, etc. Relative privileges, such as trade secrets, do not allow to prevent from the provision of documents to the Competition Authority.

    Apparently, counsel given to a company by an attorney (whether if the attorney is an internal consultant or an outside consultant) is protected by the attorney-client privilege, and the Competition Authority is not authorized to demand review of the content of the documents or information under this privilege.

  8. What are the conditions for a granting of full immunity? What evidence does the applicant need to provide? Is a formal admission required?

    The conditions for granting of full immunity are set forth in the Competition Authority's immunity program (the "Program"), and are as follows:

    • The immunity shall only be granted in cases of prosecution for the offense of binding arrangement between competitors and in cases of destruction of evidence, disruption of court proceedings, misleading an investigation, misleading witnesses and harassment of witnesses, which are specified in the Criminal Law and which were committed in connection with the offense of such a binding arrangement.
    • The immunity shall only be granted to the first applicant to the Competition Authority among those involved in the cartel.
    • The immunity shall only be granted if the applicant provides to the Competition Authority all the information known to him, all the evidence under his control and all the information and evidence that will come to his disposal with respect to the cartel in which he is involved.
    • The immunity shall only be granted if the person that provide the information regarding the cartel has contacted the Competition Authority at a time when no apparent investigation has been conducted.
    • When the applicant is a company, the company's application to the Competition Authority should be as a result of a clear and obliging decision of the company to apply to the Competition Authority and provide it with the required information, as opposed to an application of a single officer or employee in the company.

      When such a request is not made to the Competition Authority on behalf of the company, an officer or employee of the company (in the past or in the present) are entitled to apply to the Competition Authority and provide it the information without the company's knowledge and receive personal immunity if all other conditions required for obtaining immunity are existed.

    • Immunity shall only be granted to a person who has ceased his participation in the cartel.
    • Obtaining the immunity depends upon full and ongoing cooperation with the Competition Authority.
    • Immunity shall not be granted if the information provider is the dominant leader of the cartel.
    • In cases where it is possible and appropriate to compensate the victims of the offense, the Competition Authority shall grant the immunity to the applicant only if he compensates the victims.
    • Immunity shall not be granted to an applicant which has been convicted of a cartel offense in the past, or to a person who has received immunity under the Program in the past.

    A company or an individual applying to the Competition Authority in a request for immunity shall furnish the Competition Authority with details and information regarding the cartel, to the extent that such details and information are sufficient for the Competition Authority to examine the applicant suitability for the Program.

    The cooperation with the Competition Authority should include the provision of the information available to the applicant for immunity, by means of full and detailed testimony, including documents related to the cartel and the names of the persons involved in it. In addition, the applicant must act in accordance with the Competition Authority's instructions during and after the investigation, to assist the Competition Authority in the investigation and to give full testimony in connection with the cartel to the extent necessary.

  9. What level of leniency, if any, is available to subsequent applicants and what are the eligibility conditions?

    An eligible candidate with whom an immunity agreement has been signed in accordance with the terms of the Program is completely immune from initiating criminal proceedings by the Competition Authority against him. The granting of immunity constitutes a commitment of the prosecution authorities in Israel to the immune entity, according to which the prosecution authorities undertake not to initiate criminal proceedings against it. It should be noted that the Program does not grant any immunity from civil enforcement. For example, the Competition Commissioner's decision regarding the GIS cartel was based, almost exclusively, on testimonies received from employees of ABB, which received immunity from criminal prosecution in Israel. However, the company was sued, on the basis of the above decision, in a civil suit by the IEC, as well as in a class action.

  10. Are markers available and, if so, in what circumstances?

    There is no "markers" procedure in Israel, but it customary that the appeal for the Competition Authority is done, at first, subject to the submission of initial information, sometimes anonymously, and only after obtaining approval from the Competition Authority, then the full information is given to it. According to the provisions of the Program, a company or an individual applying to the Competition Authority for a request to receive immunity shall provide the Competition Authority with details and information regarding the cartel, to the extent that it is sufficient for the Competition Authority to examine its eligibility for the Program. In case the Competition Authority determines that the applicant is not eligible for receiving immunity, such information shall not be submitted as evidence against it by the State, provided that the request to the Competition Authority was made in good faith.

  11. What is required of immunity/leniency applicants in terms of ongoing cooperation with the relevant authorities?

    As states above, the immunity depends upon full and ongoing cooperation with the Competition Authority. This cooperation should include the provision of the information available to the applicant for immunity, by means of full and detailed testimony, including documents related to the cartel and the names of the persons involved in it. In addition, the applicant must act in accordance with the Competition Authority's instructions during and after the investigation, to assist the Competition Authority in the investigation and to give full testimony in connection with the cartel, to the extent that it is necessary.

    In case the applicant breaches the immunity agreement or provides false or misleading information, the Competition Authority will be entitled, upon the approval of the Competition Commissioner and following the receipt of approval from the District Attorney, to terminate his immunity and to use the information he has provided as an evidence against him.

  12. Does the grant of immunity/leniency extend to immunity from criminal prosecution (if any) for current/former employees and directors?

    Yes. When a request for immunity from the Competition Authority is not made on behalf of the company, an officer or employee of the company (in the past or in the present) is allowed to apply to the Competition Authority and provide the information without the company's knowledge, and he may receive personal immunity if all the other conditions required for obtaining the immunity are existed.

  13. Is there an ‘amnesty plus’ programme?

    No, there is no similar program in Israel.

  14. Does the investigating authority have the ability to enter into a settlement agreement or plea bargain and, if so, what is the process for doing so?

    Yes. Section 50(b) of the Competition Law authorizes the Competition Authority to grant an agreed decree for an agreement between the Competition Commissioner and another person, which is, in fact, a compromise agreement.

    In the event that the Competition Authority believes that an offense has been committed against the provisions of the Competition Law, or that the provisions of the Competition Law have been violated in a different manner, it has a number of methods of action, based on the nature of the offense, its severity, its impact on the market, the circumstances of its execution, etc. Therefore, the Competition Commissioner is authorized to act, as follows: (1) to file an indictment against anyone who is suspected of committing an offense for the purpose of criminal enforcement of the provisions of the Competition Law; (2) to impose administrative fines on anyone who in his opinion has committed an offense under the provisions of the Competition Law; (3) to issue a decision under Section 43 of the Competition Law regarding the violation of the provisions of the Competition Law, and this decision serves as prima facie evidence in any civil proceeding to be conducted in its matter; and (4) to reach an agreed decree with a person, i.e. a compromise agreement, in which the offending party is often required to prevent from committing a similar offense and to pay compensation to the State Treasury.

    Examples of agreed decrees from the recent years: Tnuva Central Cooperative for the Marketing of Agricultural Produce in Israel Ltd. (dated 9.5.2016); Supergas Israel Gas Distribution Company Ltd. (dated 6.10.2013); Steimatzky (2005) Ltd. (dated 22.6.2011); Shufersal Ltd. (dated 7.11.2018; and Super-Pharm (Israel) Ltd. (dated 20.12.2017).

  15. What are the key pros and cons for a party that is considering entering into settlement?

    The advantages of reaching an agreed decree are, as follows: First, the agreed decree is a decree reached by the parties by agreement, and unlike a criminal investigation or administrative inquiry conducted by the Competition Authority, in the process of agreed decree the decisions are made jointly and with agreement, and the other party is able to shape the principles of the agreement and to control its results; Second, the agreed decree prevents criminal or administrative enforcement and constitutes a civil compromise with the Competition Authority, in a manner that has no consequences for the future in the sense of a criminal conviction or administrative determination. This is a relatively moderate way to deal with criminal violations of the Competition Law and therefore, among the enforcement means available to the Competition Commissioner, this is the most moderate possibility.

    On the other hand, reaching an agreed decree means admitting an offence, or at least committing a violation of the Competition Law. In light of the fact that the agreed decree is required to be approved by the court, it is expected to serve as evidence in the proceedings that may be conducted against the company, whether private proceedings or class actions.

  16. What is the nature and extent of any cooperation with other investigating authorities, including from other jurisdictions?

    The Competition Authority usually cooperates with other authorities when conducting criminal investigations. For example, when the Competition Authority wishes to carry out wiretapping, it actually carried out by the General Security Services. In addition, when cartels investigated by the Competition Authority constitute offences under the Israeli Penal Code, which the Israeli police is authorized to investigate (such as money laundering or offenses under the Securities Law, 5728-1968), the Competition Authority cooperates with the relevant authorities, and these authorities accompany the investigation from the stage of the raid and the arrests to the stage of filing the indictment.

    To this day, there has been no situation in Israel where a person who committed various offenses, including offenses under the Competition Law, signed an immunity agreement with another authority. We believe that in such situation, the investigating authority will involve the Competition Authority prior to reaching an immunity agreement and will allow it to examine the fulfilment of the conditions for granting immunity under the Competition Authority's Program. Apparently, a different investigation authority (such as the Israel Police, the Israel Securities Authority, etc.) cannot, on its own, grant immunity from prosecution under the Competition Law, but in light of the fact that all of these authorities actually operate under the authority of the State Attorney, the immunity granted by the State Attorney will cover all of the relevant laws.

  17. What are the potential civil and criminal sanctions if cartel activity is established?

    Criminal liability – the law imposes criminal liability on any of the following:

    • The person who actually committed the crime;
    • The employee in charge of the field;
    • Active manager;
    • Trend of imposing more severe punishments;
    • Imprisonment punishments, high fines.

    (For example: Shufersal case; bread cartel; the floor tile cartel; the gas cartel; the fitting cartel; the frozen vegetables cartel; the envelopes cartel and the books cartel).

    Financial sanctions:

    • According to the amendment of the Competition Law dated May 2012, the General Director is empowered to impose "financial sanctions" on a company in breach of the provisions of the Competition Law.
    • The amount of the sanction – up to 8% of the annual sales turnover of the company, and not exceeding NIS 100 million. The bill suggests to cancel the cap.
    • The General Director is authorized to impose financial sanctions on an officer of the Company – up to an amount of NIS 1 Million.

    Civil sanctions:

    • Civil suit (including class action) due to breach of the provisions of the Competition Law:
      • Class action against gas companies – at least NIS 1 billion;
      • Application for approval of class action against Tnuva and Strauss due to price coordination of dairy products – NIS 1.4 billion;
      • Israel Electric Corporation suit against GIS manufacturers – approx. NIS 3.8 billion;
      • Application for approval of class action against GIS manufacturers – approx. NIS 2 billion each;
      • Application for approval of class action against cellular companies – approx. NIS 17 billion;
      • Application for the approval of class action in the field of textbooks – over NIS 1 billion.
    • Loss of the desired business outcome
      • Action in contradiction to the provisions of the Competition Law is void.
  18. What factors are taken into account when the fine is set? In practice, what is the maximum level of fines that has been imposed in the case of recent domestic and international cartels?

    The factors that are taken into account when a fine is set are specified in Section 50(e) of the Competition Law. These factors are, as follows: (1) the duration of the violation; (2) the degree of damage that the breach may cause to competition or to the public; (3) the infringer's part in the breach and the extent of its influence on its performance; (4) the existence or absence of prior violations and the date of their implementation; (5) the actions taken by the infringer to prevent the recurrence or discontinuance of the breach, including a report on his initiative for the breach, or actions taken to correct the consequences of the breach; (6) in cases that the infringer is an individual – his economic ability, including his income derived from a company related to the breach, as well as personal circumstances for which the violation was committed or grave personal circumstances that justify not bringing the crime to justice; (7) in cases that the infringer is a company – there is a significant concern that as a result of the imposition of the sanction, the infringer will not be able to pay his debts and his activity will be terminated.

    On January 1, 2009, the Israeli parliament enacted Amendment 21 to the Competition Law. As part of the said amendment, Chapter G1 was amended, and the fine that the Competition Commissioner is authorized to impose on a company that breached the provisions of the Competition Law was limited to NIS 100 million. Moreover, the financial sanctions that the Competition Commissioner can impose on a private individual is NIS 1,035,730.

    The Competition Commissioner has exercised its authority to impose economic sanctions on several prominent cases recently: (1) Determination of abuse of status against Section 29(a) of the Competition Law, and demand for payment under Section 50(h) of the Competition Law - IEC and managers – in this determination the IEC was required to pay a fine of NIS 13 Million, and the managers were required to pay NIS 165,000 and NIS 110,000; (2) The decision of the Competition Commissioner to impose a financial sanction on Milan House Ltd. – in this decision the company was required to pay NIS 20,000; (3) The Competition Commissioner's decision to impose a financial sanction on Tnuva Cooperative Society for Marketing Agricultural Products in Israel Ltd. Tirat Zvi 2000 Limited Partnership – in this decision Tnuva was required to pay NIS 800,000 and Tirat Zvi was required to pay NIS 240,000; (4) In the GIS Cartel, a request to approve a compromise agreement was submitted to the court. According to the said agreement, the companies were required to compensate the IEC and the public for an amount of NIS 465 million.

  19. Are parent companies presumed to be jointly and severally liable with an infringing subsidiary?

    The Competition Law does not allow, in general, to "pierce the corporate veil" between companies, but Section 48 of the Competition Law stipulates that the manager of the company shall be deemed to have committed a violation of the Competition Law, unless he proves that he undertook all measures to prevent violation of the provisions of the Competition Law.

  20. Are private actions and/or class actions available for infringement of the cartel rules?

    Yes. Section 50 of the Competition Law provides that a breach of the provisions of the Competition Law constitutes a tort, and addendum no. 2 of the Class Actions Law, 5766-2006, allows the filling of a class action on the grounds of violation of the Competition Law. In Israel, there are many submissions of requests for approval of class actions on grounds of violation of the provisions of the Competition Law. Most of these requests were rejected, but some were approved or ended with a compromise. For example: (1) In 6179-08-16 Ronen Gafniel v. Central Bottling Company Ltd. (Published in 16.1.2019), a request to file a class action was granted on the grounds of misuse of monopoly power; (2) In 36098-05-16 Alon Zadok v. Strauss Group Ltd., the applicant asked to file a class action against Strauss Group, also on the grounds of misuse of monopoly power, but his claims were rejected as he failed to prove that there is a very significant gap between actual pricing and cost-based pricing; and (3) In 46010-07-11 Ofir Naor v. Tnuva Cooperative Center for Marketing of Agricultural Products in Israel Ltd. (published in 5.4.2016), a request to file a class action was granted on the grounds of misuse of monopoly power.

  21. What type of damages can be recovered by claimants and how are they quantified?

    In light of the fact that the Competition Law stipulates that a violation of the provisions of the Competition Law will constitute a tort, then compensation can be claimed for the damages caused by the cartel and for the "wealth" gained by the companies as a result of the cartel. In general, the damage caused to the public is measured by reducing the competitive price that would have been determined in the market from the actual price that would have been charged had it not been a cartel. As it is well known, this is a completely theoretical damage calculation, based on economic opinions and various assessments.

  22. On what grounds can a decision of the relevant authority be appealed?

    The Competition Law specifies certain decisions of the Competition Commissioner regarding which there is a right to submit an appeal to the Antitrust Tribunal. In the event that the Competition Law does not grant such right, the Competition Commissioner’s decision is subject to the review by the Supreme Court of Israel, which to this day has rejected any appeal submitted to it in this regard. The examination in the court is done in a manner similar to that of an administrative decision, i.e. examination of the reasonability of the Competition Commissioner’s decision.

  23. What is the process for filing an appeal?

    Filling an appeal to the Antitrust Tribunal involves filling out the relevant forms and submitting an affidavit to verify the facts, within the time limits stipulated in the Competition Law provisions.

  24. What are some recent notable cartel cases (limited to one or two key examples, with a very short summary of the facts, decision and sanctions/level of fine)?

    A recent notable cartel case in Israel is the "Bread Cartel". According to an agreement between three competing bakeries, it has been agreed to avoid supplying products to each other's clients and to rise prices on agreed products. Due to the above actions, the bakeries CEO's were accused of being parties of a binding arrangement in aggravating circumstances, in light of the share and status of bakeries in the production of bread products under the Israeli supervision; the multiplicity of victims of the offense and the potential damage resulting from the arrangement; the vitality of the products related to the arrangement; the multiplicity of parties to the arrangement; the sophistication of the arrangement and the use of a number of cartelistic techniques that violate the core prohibitions specified in the Competition Law; and the cessation of the arrangement's activity only when the defendants noticed the initiation of a criminal investigation. The District court has sentenced two of the defendants for 8-10 months of active imprisonment and imposed personal financial sanctions of NIS 150,000-350,000 each. The bakeries were also required to pay a fine of over NIS 1.8 Million in total. The Court of Appeals has later concluded that the punishment given by the District Court was too strict and therefore reduced the defendants' punishments to three months imprisonment and three months of community service.

  25. What are the key recent trends (e.g. in terms of fines, sectors under investigation, applications for leniency, approach to settlement, number of appeals, etc.)?

    In Israel there is a trend of a significant aggravation of the enforcement of the provisions of the Competition Law. Violations of the provisions of the Competition Law are intensively investigated and there is aggressive use of the authorities vested to the Competition Authority, such as wiretapping, raids, arrests, investigations and the management of proceedings until the verdict is given. However, recently, the Supreme Court of Israel in the bread cartel case and the water cartel case stated that, in general, offenses under the Competition Law shall be dealt with by imprisonment. For example, in 1665/16 Yeshayahu Davidowitz v. State of Israel (published in 20.3.2017) the court stated that "In light of the great difficulty inherent in exposing offenses under the Competition Law and the need to deter potential defendants from committing such offenses, it is appropriate that in such cases, imprisonment should be imposed, not by way of community service."

  26. What are the key expected developments over the next 12 months (e.g. imminent statutory changes, procedural changes, upcoming decisions, etc.)?

    On January 2019 there has been an amendment to the Competition Law. Other than changing of the name of the law to the “Competition Law”, and setting the terms of “General Director of Competition”, “Competition Authority”, etc., the amendment has also determined various changes to the Competition Law, such as: (1) demand for notice of merger only for companies with an aggregate turnover exceeding NIS 360 Million (instead of NIS 150 Million); (2) the definition of “Monopoly” will also include an entity holding significant market stakes that are not temporary and short-term (in addition to the quantitative definition of 50%); (3) the amount of financial fines that were capped at NIS 24.5 Million were increased to NIS 100 Million; (4) more severe imprisonment punishments – Maximum 5 years of imprisonment instead of 3 years for those taking part in a binding arrangement.

    The said amendment also includes provisions regarding the managers' liability. Moreover, in the new version of the Competition Law, the manager of the company is obliged to supervise and take all the necessary measures in order to prevent an offense against the provisions of the Competition Law by the company or any of its employees.

    If an offense was committed, pursuant to the Competition Law, by the company or by any of its employees, it may be presumed that the officer breached its obligation under sub-section (a), unless the officer proves that he did everything possible in order to fulfill his obligations.

    In light of the provisions of the amendment and the absolute responsibility for officers, we are expected to notice that the focus will be greater on the company's management than on employees or perpetrators. In addition, due to the increased severity of the punishments under the Competition Law, which is reflected in the above amendment, the penalties imposed by the courts are also expected to increase.