The policy set forth below constitutes the collective attitude of AWRF, including its members of all categories, sponsors and staff, regarding the federal and state antitrust laws. Since a trade association is, by nature, a group of competitors with the capacity for collusive activities, which can result in restraint of trade, it is the intent of AWRF to act in strict compliance with all state and federal antitrust laws. The two principal antitrust laws, which are particularly applicable to trade associations, are Sections One and Two of the Sherman Act and Section Five of the Federal Trade Commission Act. These acts respectively prohibit contracts, combinations and conspiracies in restraint of trade; monopolies and attempts to monopolize; unfair methods of competition; and unfair or deceptive business practices. Because it is often difficult to determine whether an association has bordered on a violation of the antitrust laws, AWRF has established certain principles, which may be expanded or modified as new law develops. These principles are as follows:

  • Membership shall not be denied to any qualified entity.
  • Group boycotts and price fixing, express or implied, are per se violations of the law. Collusive behavior regarding freight allowances, discounts and warranties is also prohibited by the antitrust laws. Price fixing may involve combinations of competitors or suppliers and their customers with respect to resale price. AWRF will not tolerate any discussion of agreements or arrangements which expressly or inferentially address price fixing or any other subjects which violate the antitrust laws.
  • Any concerns regarding AWRF policies or procedures should be discussed with staff, counsel, officers and directors.
  • Members of AWRF shall at all times enjoy the freedom to make independent decisions in matters involving competition.
  • There shall be no discrimination in space allocation at product information exhibits.
  • AWRF has adopted a clear policy which precludes the establishment of standards.
  • Any statistical reporting shall have as its purpose the provision of information to the industry and to the public. This purpose shall be expressed as the information is disseminated. Participation shall be voluntary. Only past transactions shall be reported and they shall always be in composite form.
  • The results of Association research projects shall be made available to the industry and to the public.
  • Members of AWRF shall familiarize themselves with basic federal and state antitrust laws, including the Sherman Act, Clayton Act, FTC Act and Robinson-Patman Act.