Antitrust Policy

Policies & Practices 2002-8  

Approved by Board of Directors by ballot, February 4, 2002.

Summary:As associations of competitors, trade associations must be vigilant to ensure that state and federal antitrust laws are respected.  The general improvement of the industry benefits the public. This is why Congress granted the privilege of tax-exempt status to trade associations. Our focus must be the general improvement of our industry. We must refrain from actions, which either may suppress competition among members or give members a competitive advantage over non-members.  


Being fully committed to vigorous competition, IDEAlliance is equally committed to compliance with state and federal statutes, which protect competition. These statutes include state and federal antitrust laws, such as the federal Sherman Act, which make certain types of anti-competitive behavior, such as price fixing and boycotts, felonies punishable by imprisonment and severe fines. Violators are also subject to civil liabilities, including treble damages.

All members of IDEAlliance must be zealous to ensure that these state and federal statutes are respected, not only in the letter of the law but also, in the spirit of compliance. It is particularly important for members to understand the special responsibility, which attends the privilege of belonging to a tax-exempt association of competitors, joined together to advance the interest of the industry we share. While IDEAlliance looks to each member to fulfill this responsibility, IDEAlliance places a special burden on committee chairs, directors, officers, and staff, who are charged with ensuring the Antitrust Policy is respected at all times and in all circumstances.

Each member of IDEAlliance shall be given a copy of this Policy. Compliance with this Policy is a requirement of membership. Violations of this Policy will subject the offender to sanctions, including expulsion from membership and referral to law enforcement authorities. We recognize that questions may arise in particular contexts. When such questions arise, they should be directed to the professional staff and IDEAlliance officers. It is the policy of IDEAlliance to resolve any doubt in favor of avoiding any conduct, which might be construed as anti-competitive. In a proper case, the opinion of legal counsel to IDEAlliance may be sought.

The Guidelines set forth below are not intended as a substitute for the duty of the member to become familiar with state and federal laws. Rather, they are intended to complement these laws.

  1. No member shall take part, directly or indirectly, in any anti-competitive conduct. This includes, but is not limited to, exchanging information regarding prices, terms or conditions of sales, distribution, volume of production; allocating territories or customers; or preventing rivals from competing or gaining access to markets through boycotts or otherwise.
  2. No member shall make any effort to bring about the standardization of any service or product for any anti-competitive purpose proscribed by state and federal laws.
  3. In conducting IDEAlliance committee meetings, the chair shall prepare and follow a formal agenda. Minutes of the meeting shall be distributed to all committee members. Approval of the minutes shall be obtained from the committee at its next meeting. A copy of the minutes shall be transmitted to the IDEAlliance headquarters, Attention: President, and held in Association's files.
  4. Speakers at committee and other IDEAlliance meetings shall be informed of the Antitrust Policy and the requirement that it be respected in their presentations.

More information contact David Steinhardt, President & CEO, at dsteinhardt@idealliance.org.

Download Antitrust Policy