The Association’s EHS Summit has been designed to promote common business interests and to help improve the skill sets of executives who select to attend. Since potential antitrust violations are inherently present at industry meetings because an essential element of an antitrust violation – a combination of competitors – exists, the best vehicle for enjoying open discussion with industry peers, while avoiding the pitfalls of illegal actions, is by belonging to a trade association which take obligations in this regard very seriously. The conference committee, board members of the association, executive director, and the association’s legal representative are versed in antitrust matters and should be notified immediately if any topics lend even to an appearance of an agreement that would violate the antitrust laws.
Discussions can generally involve any subject without raising antitrust concerns if they are kept from the suggestion of restraint of trade, or the selection of suppliers, customers, or prices. Subjects not to be discussed during meetings and conferences include but are not limited to those that clearly restrain competition and trade. Conversations related to 1) agreements to raise, lower, stabilize, or in any other way establish price, 2) agreements to allocate or control markets, sales territories, customers, or geographic territories, 3) agreements to restrict or affect the availability of products or services, or the terms or conditions of their sale, 4) discussions of the ethics or propriety of pricing practices, such as price adjustments, discounts, and credit terms, 5) agreements requiring customers to purchase an ancillary item or service in order to buy the desired product or service, 6) agreements to refrain from competing, and 7) agreements refusing to deal with third parties (boycotts) are ones that cannot be discussed.
The leadership team seeks to avoid antitrust violations in connection with this conference and all other meetings so participants must avoid engaging in conduct, in meetings and socially, that gives the appearance of an impermissible conversation, agreement, alliance, or impropriety. Consequences and punishment for violating Antitrust Laws can be so severe that good business judgment demands that every effort be made to avoid such violation. Certain crimes for which individuals may be imprisoned for up to three (3) years or fined up to
$100,000, or both, and corporations can be fined up to $1 million for each offense. In addition, treble damage claims by private parties (including class actions) for antitrust violations are extremely expensive to litigate and can result in judgments of a magnitude which could destroy and seriously affect the financial interest of its members.
Document Opened and Printed: 5/23/2021 Distributed at 5/26/2021 EHS SUMMIT