The antitrust laws of the United States and the State of Washington support the American system of free enterprise by preserving competition and promoting competitive practices, while prohibiting acts that injure competition.
Trade associations such as the Washington Association of Professional Guardians are made up in substantial part of business competitors who join together at Association meetings to take action to benefit the entire industry represented by the Association. Any meeting or joint action of business competitors has the potential for generating violations of federal and state antitrust laws, whether the violations are intentional or inadvertent.
It is the policy of the Washington Association of Professional Guardians to comply strictly with those laws which relate to the conduct of its activities, including the antitrust laws of the United States and the State of Washington. All Association members, officers, and staff must conform their statements and actions to antitrust laws which may be applicable to Association activities.
For example, conformance with the antitrust policy of the Washington Association of Professional Guardians means that no Member, Officer, Trustee, Committee Chair or staff shall intentionally or unintentionally agree to:
- fix or stabilize prices
- limit provision of services
- hinder or injure nonmembers
- initiate boycotts
- allocate markets or customers
The policy also means that the Washington Association of Professional Guardians Trustees, Officers, Members, Committee Chairs and staff should avoid discussions and actions concerning: (1) Membership restrictions where the denial of membership to an applicant may constitute a restraint of trade because such a denial may limit the ability of the applicant to compete; and (2) Standardization and certification where application of a standard or grant of certification favors some competitors and discriminates against others.
As an additional example, conformance with the policy means that the Association and its Trustees, Officers, Members, Committee Chairs and staff shall not use the power of the Association to compel or prohibit certain acts or practices of its members where to do so violates the antitrust laws.
Because of the scope of the antitrust laws and the variety of factual circumstances that can give rise to an antitrust violation, the foregoing examples are not exhaustive and any questions involving Association or individual conduct and antitrust compliance shall be brought to the attention of the President of the Association.
The Executive Director of the Association shall distribute a copy of this policy via paper copy, email, web link, or otherwise, to each Director, Officer, Committee Chair, Member and staff of the Association and to each new Director, Officer, Committee Chair, Member and staff at commencement of the term of service of each.
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