Free Competition and Fighting Cartels

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In the course of our day-to-day business, we must ensure continuous compliance with competition and antitrust laws, particularly in the fight against cartels. Accordingly, we have introduced antitrust prevention and compliance programs at Total, especially in our marketing-related businesses.

Position and Commitments

Antitrust compliance is one of the core principles of our Code of Conduct:

Total complies with all applicable laws, regulations and decisions of the United Nations and the European Union, especially concerning the environment, competition and employment and observes the rules of free competition [...].

Our senior executives have always taken a firm position on the issue. In 2010, Christophe de Margerie, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, reaffirmed Total’s commitment in a message addressed to all employees. He encouraged them "to maintain integrity in business relations by respecting free competition regulations".


Our businesses, especially Chemicals (now Refining & Chemicals, R&C) and R&M (now Marketing & Services, M&S), have developed antitrust compliance programs designed to educate employees and ensure that they respect applicable legislation and regulations at all times. The compliance programs comprise four main components:

  • systematic training;
  • employee accountability;
  • regular audits of program implementation;
  • and sanctions in the event of failure to comply.

The first step in setting up these programs was to prepare practical guides for each business, in order to increase familiarity with the regulations and ensure employees behave appropriately. These guides are accessible to everyone on the intranet.

Practical guides

These documents, which may be revised to reflect changing legislation, are solely for internal use and may only be accessed to obtain information on how to raise antitrust awareness among managers and employees. It is strictly forbidden to use or copy the documents for any other purpose.

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Employees who are the most exposed to risk — especially those who are in direct contact with customers, competitors and suppliers — receive training in antitrust law. The dedicated training courses are offered worldwide and tailored to national legislation. They are updated at regular intervals. In addition, Chemicals (now Refining & Chemicals) and Refining & Marketing (now Marketing & Services) have developed e-learning programs to help employees broaden their knowledge.

In order to increase accountability, employees exposed to competition risks are required to sign a personal commitment letter in which they undertake to comply with the principles and instructions of the compliance program and with the relevant rules.

Employees are reminded that a "zero tolerance" policy applies in the event of abuses and severe sanctions will be applied.

To ensure distribution and application of the program worldwide and to support line employees in their day-to-day work, dedicated legal departments have been created in Chemicals (now Refining & Chemicals) and Refining & Marketing (now Marketing & Services). They are supported by management at all levels and by Human Resources, which have an important role to play, especially in identifying employees exposed to competition-related issues.

Specialized lawyers from the different business segments, whose job is to be available to and advise the operating staff, play an important role.


Program compliance is monitored through a system of internal controls, ethical principles and practices, and dedicated contact/listening processes within the businesses.

In the past, Total had been investigated and found guilty of anti-competitive agreements. For more information about principal antitrust proceedings in which the Group is involved, see the


Recent Achievements

Since 2007, 8,361 employees were trained in Refining and Marketing (now Marketing & Services). In 2011 , the Chemicals branch (now Refining & Chemicals) of the Group offered training to 10,000 employees through e-learning.

In addition, nearly 7,400 employees have signed personal commitment letters since the practice was introduced in 2007: 4,587 in Chemicals (now Refining & Chemicals) and 2,795 in Refining & Marketing (now Marketing & Services) .

  • Corporate Governance


    Our corporate governance is the responsibility of the Board of Directors and five dedicated committees, including the Ethics Committee.

    Our Governance Bodies
  • Shared Values


    Total’s cornerstone values are set out in our Code of Conduct and the Total Attitude.

    Our Values and Ethics