Guidelines for Discussions at The American Wind Energy Association Meetings
It is extremely important that association members, meeting attendees, and speakers understand that the provisions of the antitrust laws regulate their conduct at association meetings. A thoughtless violation of the antitrust laws by a few members could result in expensive protracted litigation that could destroy the association and/or result in the prosecution of individual members. The most powerful Federal statute, the Sherman Act, provides substantial penalties for violation of the antitrust laws. Individuals can be fined up to $350,000 and imprisoned up to three years for violations. Corporations can be fined up to $10 million. In addition, defendants found guilty of violating the Sherman Act are subject to treble civil damages.
Guidelines for Discussions Between Competitors at Trade Association Meetings
What You Can't Do
- Do not enter into any agreements with competitors regarding or affecting prices.
- Do not discuss your company's current price with competitors.
- Do not agree with competitors on pricing or profit levels.
- Do not agree with competitors to give or deny cash discounts or promotional allowances.
- Do not agree with competitors to give or deny credit to a specific customer, or to establish uniform credit terms.
- Do not agree with competitors to deal or not to deal with any customer or agree on the prices to be charged to a specific customer.
- Do not discuss allocation of markets.
- Do not enter into agreements with competitors' price quotations or bids.
What You Can Do
- Discuss better ways to educate and provide meaningful information to Association members about the industry.
- Discuss economic trends, business forecasts, and materials availability, emphasizing that each company is free to use this information in the way it sees fit and should make its own business decisions.
- Provide a properly structured environment for the exchanging of credit.
- Discuss Federal and State governmental actions and develop industry-wide lobbying efforts.
- Discuss technological advances and better ways to utilize them.
- Discuss ways to improve the public image of the industry.
These guidelines have been prepared for the American Wind Energy Association by the Association's antitrust counsel as part of the AWEA Antitrust Compliance Program.