Compliance with Antitrust Laws
The National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc. (NCASI) throughout its history has complied with antitrust laws (also known as competition laws) of various jurisdictions including those of the United States and Canada (“the antitrust laws”), and is not subject to any consent decree, cease and desist order, or any other mandate or prohibition of any agency of government or any court with respect to the antitrust laws.
In order to assure continued compliance with both the letter and the spirit of the antitrust laws, participants in NCASI meetings are reminded of the following important NCASI policy:
Although the antitrust laws do not preclude members of the NCASI from lawfully engaging in a great variety of collective activities, the antitrust laws do prohibit certain conduct which is considered anticompetitive. The prime example is, of course, agreement with regard to price. Any joint conduct by competitors which has the purpose or effect of either raising, depressing, fixing, pegging, or stabilizing the price of a product or service is unlawful. Also, concerted action which may affect a price, including matters related to production, terms and conditions of sale, the distribution of a product or the division of markets, is likewise prohibited by the antitrust laws.
Either an explicit or tacit understanding between competitors that could affect the price of products or operate to impede free and open competition is forbidden. Although the primary example of an illegal anticompetitive agreement relates to price, agreements may also be illegal if they affect other aspects of competition such as by reducing services, quality or output, or allocating customers or markets. In order to prove any such unlawful activity, it is not necessary that there be evidence of a formal agreement or understanding; more often than not, such proof is circumstantial and a violation of the antitrust laws may be found because of a course of dealing between competitors or between members and their customers.
With regard to any NCASI meeting, there must never be any discussion among those attending, or any formal or informal agreement of any sort, with respect to commercially sensitive information including the following:
- Any price to be charged with respect to a product or service.
- Any allocation of markets or customers.
- Any coordination or cooperation with respect to bids or requests for bids.
- Terms or conditions of sale, including credit or discount terms or rebates.
- Distributions of products or services.
- Control of the production of any product or the level of production.
- Production capacities, intended plant openings or closures (unless publicly announced) or any other strategic plans which may affect operations.
- Profit levels or profit margins.
- The basis for arriving at any price.
- The exchange of price information or other commercially sensitive information with respect to any specific customer or marketing plans generally.
- Any action which would unreasonably restrict trade.
The NCASI staff is regularly advised and reminded of principles of antitrust laws as they have evolved and may affect the forest products industry. The staff is alert to any discussion or topic which might result in a potential restraint of trade, and should any discussion arise at a meeting which might be construed as inappropriate, the staff has been instructed to alert those present that the particular topic under discussion should not be pursued further.