Active participation is an important aspect of membership in your trade association. Participation adds to the vitality and energy of the organization, and accomplishes together what can’t be done alone in the fluid power industry. In fostering opportunities for members to participate in its programs and committees, FPDA continues to maintain a policy of full compliance with all laws regulating trade association activities.
Historically, the most significant area of antitrust concern for associations has been price fixing. Price fixing is a very broad term which includes any concerted effort or action that has an effect on prices, terms or conditions of trade, or on competitors. Other than generic FPDA business strategies, FPDA meetings do not include discussions of prices, or terms or conditions of trade. FPDA meetings do not include discussions of pricing. In our ongoing compliance with the terms of antitrust laws, we remind FPDA members, as well as non-members who participate in activities, to refrain from any discussion which may provide the basis for an inference that they agreed to take any action relating to prices, services, production, allocation of markets or any other matter having a market effect. These discussions should be avoided both at formal meetings and informal gatherings. In addition, we remind members and non-members participating in association events to be sensitive to other matters that may raise particular antitrust concern: membership restrictions, codes of ethics or other forms of self-regulation, and product standardization or certification. The following are guidelines participants should follow at FPDA Annual Meetings and Fall Conferences and related informal gatherings:
- DON’T discuss your own or competitors’ prices or fees for service, or anything that might affect prices or fees, such as costs, discounts, terms of sale, profit margins or future marketing plans.
- DON’T stay at a meeting where any such price talk occurs – state why you are leaving.
- DON’T make public announcements or statements about your own prices or fees, or those of competitors, at any meeting.
- DON’T talk about what individual companies plan to do in particular geographic or product markets or with particular customers.
- DON’T disclose to others at meetings or otherwise any competitively sensitive information.
- DON’T speak or act on behalf of FPDA unless specifically authorized to do so.
- DO alert FPDA staff or legal counsel to any sensitivities in proposed statements to be made by FPDA or any of their committees.
- DO consult with your own legal counsel, or FPDA staff, before raising any matter or making any statement that you think may involve competitively sensitive information.
- DO be alert to improper activities, and don’t participate if you think something is improper.
- Adherence to these guidelines involves not only avoidance of antitrust violations, but avoidance of behavior which might be so construed. Bear in mind that the antitrust laws are stated in general terms, and that these guidelines only provide an overview of prohibited actions. If you have specific questions, seek guidance from your own legal counsel or from FPDA staff or legal counsel.
Patricia Lilly, Executive Director
Thompson Management Associates, LLC
Horn Point Harbor
105 Eastern Ave Suite 104
Annapolis, MD 21403
Phone: (410) 263 -1014
Fax: (410) 263 -1659