Antitrust Policy and Compliance Procedures
This policy is outlined to make the occurrence of an actual antitrust violation during activities of the In-Mold Decorating Association (IMDA) unlikely, and to prevent inadvertent conduct which might give the appearance of an antitrust violation to someone unfamiliar with IMDA's nature and purposes. Please refer to this policy whenever you have a question about the antitrust implications of any activity you might undertake under the auspices of the IMDA.
Statement of Antitrust Policy
The IMDA is a trade association organized to further the awareness and acceptance of in-mold decorated durable products and packaging by OEMs, brand owners and marketers. The role of the IMDA is not, nor is it intended to, play any role in the competitive decisions of its members or in any way to restrict competition in any area of the in-mold decorating industry.
Through periodic meetings, individuals representing the various aspects of the in-mold decorating industry, including but not limited to label substrate suppliers, converters, printers, molders, equipment suppliers, and brand owners come together to discuss issues pertinent to the industry as a whole. The purpose of these activities is principally educational, and there is no intent to restrain competition in any manner. For this reason, the IMDA, through this statement of policy, makes clear its unequivocal support for the policy of competition served by the antitrust laws and its uncompromising intent to comply strictly with those laws.
To assist the members of the IMDA in recognizing situations which may raise the appearance of an antitrust problem, the Executive Director will, as a matter of policy, furnish to each person the IMDA’s General Rules of Antitrust Compliance. It is the responsibility of every member to assure antitrust compliance, and to review and adhere to these guidelines.
General Rules of Antitrust Compliance
The following rules are applicable to all IMDA activities and must be observed in all situations and under all circumstances without exception or qualification other than noted below.
- Neither the IMDA nor any committee or activity thereof shall be used for the purpose of bringing about or attempting to bring about any understanding or agreement, written or oral, formal or informal, express or implied, among competitors with regard to prices, terms or conditions of sale, distribution, volume of production, territories or customers.
- No activity or communication shall include discussion for any purpose or in any fashion of prices or pricing methods, production quotas or other limitations on either the timing or volume of production or sale, or allocation of territories or customers.
- No committee or group shall undertake any activity which involves exchange or collection and dissemination among competitors of any information regarding prices or pricing methods.
- No committee or group shall undertake the collection of individual firm cost data, or the dissemination of any compilation of such data, without prior approval of legal counsel.
- No discussion of costs shall be undertaken in connection with any activity for the purpose or with the probable effect of promoting agreement among competing firms with respect to their selection of products for purchase, their choice of suppliers, or the prices they will pay for supplies.
- Any papers published or presented in connection with IMDA programs may refer to costs, provided such references are not accompanied by any suggestions, express or implied, that prices should be adjusted or maintained in order to reflect such costs. All papers containing cost information should be reviewed by legal counsel for antitrust implications prior to publication.
- Authors of conference papers shall be informed of the antitrust policy and the need to comply therewith in the preparation and presentation of their papers. No activity or communication shall include any discussion which might be construed as an attempt to prevent any person or business entity from gaining access to any market or customer for goods or services, or to prevent any business entity from obtaining a supply of goods or otherwise purchasing goods or services freely in the market.
- No person shall be unreasonably excluded from participation in any IMDA activity where such exclusion may impair such person's ability to compete effectively in the in-mold decorating industry.
- Neither the IMDA nor any committee or sub-group thereof shall make any effort to bring about the unfair standardization of any product, or standardization for the purpose or with the effect of preventing the manufacture or sale of any product not conforming to a specified standard.
- No activity or communication shall include any discussion which might be construed as an agreement or understanding to refrain from purchasing any raw material, equipment, services or other supplies from any supplier.
- Any IMDA meeting agendas or minutes shall be reviewed in advance (by legal counsel if necessary) to insure compliance to all antitrust regulations and this policy.
- All members are expected to comply with these guidelines and the IMDA Antitrust Policy in informal discussions at the site of a meeting but beyond the control of its chairman, as well as in formal activities.
- Any company which believes that it may be or has been unfairly placed at a competitive disadvantage as a result of an IMDA activity should so notify the member responsible for the activity, who in turn should immediately notify the entire Committee.
Meeting & Operations Recommendations
- Review the Antitrust Policy prior to the meeting.
- Stop any discussion which appears to be leading to a discussion of prices or pricing policy or any restraint on competition of any kind.
- Advise all meeting attendees to observe the General Rules of Antitrust Compliance in informal conversations as well as formal activities.
- Do not place constraints on committee membership, other than the member’s technical capability in the area covered by the committee and the willingness of the committee member to participate actively in committee work.
- Do not undertake any committee activity involving collection or dissemination of prices or pricing methods.
- Do not undertake any committee activity involving collection of individual firm cost data or dissemination of any compilation of such data without prior approval of legal counsel.
- Do not set a numerical limit on committee size unless membership on the committee is rotated on a regular and reasonable basis. You may set a numerical limit on the maximum number of representatives per company.
- Discussions should be focused on efforts toward improvements, standardization and simplification of products. Do not institute any standard which is unfair or has the purpose or effect of preventing the manufacture or sale of any product not conforming to a specified standard.
- Keep all discussions and activities scrupulously free of the suggestion of private regulation of the industry or restraining of trade in any way.
Trade associations such the IMDA are made up of business competitors who join together at association meetings to take action to benefit the entire industry represented by the association.
Any meeting of business competitors has the potential for generating violations of federal antitrust laws, whether the violations are intentional or inadvertent. Your cooperation in adhering to these guidelines will insure that discussions at industry group meetings avoid areas of possible danger. Whenever you may have reason to question the appropriateness of a proposed discussion or activity, please consult this policy and the Executive Director of the IMDA for further clarification of the association’s Antitrust Policy.