It is the policy of the Manufacturers Alliance to comply with all federal and state antitrust laws; and avoid any appearance of improper activity that may constrain competition with reference to product price, quality, or distribution; nor restrict the competitive opportunities of competitors, suppliers, or customers.
Given the expense of antitrust investigations and litigation, it is important that every individual involved in our Association activities both comply with the law and behave in a manner that does not suggest that the law is being violated.
It is illegal to enter into an agreement or understanding (no matter how informal) with a competitor concerning a course of conduct that unreasonably restrains trade. Therefore, in connection with any Association meeting or other activity, never discuss or agree with a competitor concerning any of the following subjects:
- Prices, future prices, or pricing policies; including anticompetitive informal, unwritten understandings. Mere suggestions or exchange of information regarding specific prices, pricing intentions or price-related terms and conditions, can lead to antitrust investigations.
- Specific terms or conditions of doing business with customers, such as specific credit terms and credit availability, discounts, rebates, warranty terms, return policies, and so forth;
- Profits or profit margins;
- Specific market shares of any competitor;
- The nature of a bid, one’s intent to bid or not to bid, for particular business;
- A willingness to serve only certain customers or territories, or to build only certain types of products. Competitors generally may not agree as to the geographic markets in which each will or will not sell, customers or classes of customers to be served, or products to be offered.
- An intention or willingness not to serve a particular customer, to purchase only from a particular supplier, or to restrict existing or future cooperation with another competitor. A refusal to deal with a customer, supplier or other competitor resulting from a joint agreement should not be designed to harm competition.
- Negative, derogatory or untruthful remarks about any supplier, distributor or customer. For example, if a distributor were terminated by several manufacturers in the wake of discussions at an Association meeting, that distributor could claim that the discussions demonstrated an actionable boycott agreement.