Antitrust and competition laws in the European Union, United States of America and in other jurisdictions are intended to ensure that there is free and open competition in business and expressly prohibit any business behaviour, practice, activity or agreement that restrains or limits competition. With their meetings of members who are often competitors, trade and industry associations must be particularly careful to ensure compliance with these laws. Failure to comply can result in serious consequences, both financial and legal/criminal, for the association, member companies and their employees.
The following guidelines apply to all IIMA meetings, communications and other activities and should be observed and followed at all times. Any member who has any questions with respect to these guidelines or compliance with antitrust laws should in the first instance contact the Secretary who will obtain appropriate legal advice.
IIMA Members shall not use IIMA meetings, communications or activities to make or attempt to make any agreement with competitors in respect to competitively sensitive matters, such as prices, terms and conditions of trade, discounts, margins, strategic plans, production volumes, investments, costs, capacity utilization, market shares, territories or customers.
In addition to the restriction identified above. IIMA Members shall not discuss with competitors, at any IIMA Meeting or activity, prices for their products, future production plans or volumes, territorial or customer allocation or sharing, terms of business with specific customers or individual business strategies.
The above restrictions are not intended to prohibit (a) normal commercial discussions among companies at different levels of the market (i.e. supplier/customer), (b) market presentations by third parties involving historical market statistics relating to Members' products, or (c) discussions regarding market trends or information in upstream or downstream markets where IIMA Members are not competitors, such as freight, raw materials energy, or where appropriate steel.
Members shall also observe and comply with these guidelines during informal discussions that may take place during the course of or in connection with a IIMA meeting or event. For the sake of clarity, informal discussions shall be understood to be any discussion other than those covered by official agenda items. It should be understood that even harmless joking about prices and other sensitive topics could be misconstrued as evidence of anti-competitive activity.
Should any IIMA Member suspect that any discussion or activity violates antitrust laws or any of these guidelines, the Member concerned should insist that the discussion be halted forthwith and be referred to the Secretary and/or to legal counsel for advice.
All IIMA meetings, be they plenary sessions, committee meetings, etc., shall have a formal written agenda which shall be circulated to participants in advance. All agendas for meetings which are not related specifically to technical issues shall be reviewed in advance by the Secretary who shall in case of need consult with IIMA’s legal counsel.
The President or Chairman of each IIMA meeting shall have available a copy of these guidelines and shall remind all participants of their provisions in his/her introductory remarks.
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