ProSiebenSat.1 Group believes that sustained economic success in a competitive environment can only be achieved by ensuring that all action taken is in with the applicable laws. Therefore, preventing and violations of antitrust law are — alongside the topic areas of media law provisions and data protection compliance — highly relevant to business and represent important success factors for strengthening our market position and achieving our corporate goals. Anti-corruption and compliance with antitrust law are therefore among the main non-financial aspects for the Group.
ProSiebenSat.1 Group has implemented a compliance management system (CMS) for this reason. The main objective of the CMS is to ensure that all employees always think and act with integrity and in accordance with the law and thus to prevent law-and rule-breaking from the start. Overall responsibility for the CMS lies with the Executive Board of ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE as the parent company of ProSiebenSat.1 Group. The Executive Board is supported in the implementation, monitoring, and updating of the CMS by the Compliance Board and the Group Chief Compliance Officer (CCO). The CCO is responsible for the implementation of the CMS in the Group, carries out risk analyses and training, and advises the Executive Board on the development and implementation of appropriate measures to minimize risk. In addition, Unit Compliance Officers (UCOs) have been appointed who are responsible for the CMS at Group entities. The CMS is audited by Internal Audit; in 2017, there was also an external audit. The Executive Board also informs the Supervisory Board of the status of the CMS on an ongoing basis.
ProSiebenSat.1 Group has defined standards for conduct in business, legal and ethical matters in its Code of Conduct. They serve as a binding reference and regulatory framework for dealing with each other and with external stakeholders. The Code of Conduct explicitly calls on employees to go to their supervisors, the Unit Compliance Officers or the Chief Compliance Officer with questions, concerns, or tip-offs. The Code explicitly assures potential whistleblowers that tip-offs given in good faith will not be sanctioned even if the suspicion of a compliance violation later proves to be unfounded. Whistleblowers are additionally protected because the Code was not just imposed unilaterally by the employer, but was enacted as a works agreement with the works council. In addition, since December 2018 employees and third parties have had the opportunity to report legal violations anonymously via an external Ombuds Office. At ProSiebenSat.1 Group, comprehensive training is also offered on compliance issues. Moreover, the Group carries out mandatory, all-day compliance seminars for the managers of affiliated companies.
The CMS extends to the prevention of corruption offenses and antitrust law violations and to the guarantee of data protection and compliance with the media law provisions of the German Interstate Broadcasting Treaty (Rundfunkstaatsvertrag). In the period under review, no investigations became known against the Group, its subsidiaries or employees of ProSiebenSat.1 Group for antitrust violations or corruption offences. No fines or penalties were imposed. Since 2008, a civil law dispute has been pending with RTL 2 Fernsehen GmbH & Co. KG and El Cartel Media GmbH & Co. KG for damages.