All IWFA members should be sensitive to the fact that federal and state antitrust laws apply to trade associations as well as to individuals and companies. Accordingly, each IWFA member must be alert to legal issues that may arise in the contact of participation in the Association's activities. This paper briefly summarizes the antitrust guidelines for use by IWFA members.
Trade association activities have the potential to create anti-competitive environments and they are, therefore, subject to strict scrutiny under both federal and state laws. Certain areas are often seen as problem areas. Members should know and recognize these areas and conduct themselves as follows:
- Meetings of members should take place only under a pre-approved agenda and discussion should adhere strictly to only those items on the agenda.
- All members should have an equal voice in the conduct of association business.
- Members should not engage in discussions or activities which may, tend to, or give the appearance of:
fixing or restricting prices.
allocating markets, sales territories or customers.
boycotting specific products.
refusing to deal with certain suppliers or customers.
limiting production or availability of products or services.
hindering or disparaging the competitive efforts of non-members.
coercing or encouraging members to refrain from competing.
limiting or excluding anyone from manufacture, production, or sale of goods or services.
promulgating or encouraging unfair or misleading practices.
conditioning or trying the purchase of one product to another.
This review is not intended to be a comprehensive summary of all antitrust problem areas and related matters. It is only a reminder of IWFA member responsibilities under the U.S. antitrust laws to which all participants are bound to uphold. Each member is encouraged to consult with counsel, whenever any question arises, as to the propriety of any action, proposal, or other matter related to the Association's activities.