Trade associations and those participating in trade association activities must adhere strictly to the prohibitions imposed by the antitrust laws. Those areas which present the greatest danger are:
- Price-fixing: No discussion which may lead to establishment of a price or of terms and conditions of sale (cash discounts, etc.) may be permitted.
- Restraints on Competition: No association activity will be permitted which will restrict or restrain an individual business in the manner in which it is conducted. There can be no impediment on the manner of avenues of distribution.
- Market Allocations: There can be no effort of discussion of division of territories or any limitation on customer classifications or any other restriction on the persons to whom and the manner in which any individual may sell his products.
- Boycotts: Boycotts of any kind are strictly prohibited. If you elect not to do business with someone, do it on your own without consultation with any other business organization.
- Exchange of Price Information: There can be no exchange of current or anticipated prices or terms of sale at any activity sponsored by a trade association.
- No Product Limitation: No association activity may seek to impose limitations on the amount, kind, quality, size or style of any product.
- Policing or Enforcement: No association nor any of its members may act as a policeman to enforce business policies on any other person. That is the obligation of governmental agencies.
- Private Meetings: The restrictions that apply to MANA as a group acting in concert apply equally to any “group.” Your conversations and actions resulting from private meetings subject you to the same severe penalties which would apply to any other form of prohibited concerted activity. Be smart. Protect yourself and your company.
- Policies: No person is authorized to speak for the Association or issue any communication on behalf of the Association without previous approval of the Board of Directors.
The person conducting a meeting, seminar or other type of activity must adhere strictly to the prohibitions mentioned above and will be responsible for the conduct of a meeting under these restrictions.
MANA Executive staff members or MANA Counsel should be consulted if any questions arise.