Alphabet nation

Federal regulators turn up the heat on the Fortune 500

Dealing with organizations like the FTC, SEC, DOJ, HHS and DOL, compliance professionals might sometimes wonder if they’ve been dunked in a bowl of alphabet soup. But in large corporations, like those in the Fortune 500, the legal and compliance departments have to learn to deal with these regulators in order to ensure that everything is in order and day-to-day business can continue on unimpeded.

It's never been enough for companies to sit back and hope that they are in compliance. Instead, they must have a “proactive approach at compliance, and the regulators specifically encourage that,” explains Lisa M. Noller, partner at Foley & Lardner LLP. “Regulators have been endeavoring to hold companies accountable… and using creative means of going after wrongdoers.”

Another regulatory change that has taken place in recent years is a growing emphasis on international business. Companies in the Fortune 500 are increasingly involved in overseas transactions, from acquisitions to supply chain agreements. The DOJ, for example, has turned much of its attention to global matters.

“As the economy globalized, the cartel conduct tended to globalize as well,” says Philip Giordano of Kaye Scholer LLP, a former prosecutor in the Antitrust Division of the DOJ. “What the Antitrust Division found was that the cartels affecting the U.S. affected greater and greater amounts of commerce in the U.S., not just by domestic manufacturers but increasingly foreign manufacturers as well.”

Senior Editor and Community Manager

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Rich Steeves

Richard P. Steeves is Senior Editor and Community Manager of InsideCounsel magazine, where he covers the intellectual property and compliance beats. Rich earned a B.A....

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