The AED Antitrust Policy
Associated Equipment Distributors is subject to the Antitrust Laws of the United States, as are all businesses. Unlike most private businesses, however, the very nature of a trade association fulfills the first requirement of an antitrust violation under Section 1 of the Sherman Act, that of a “combination.”
AED therefore, recognizes the need to be constantly vigilant to prevent fulfillment of the second requirement, relating to actions which could result in an illegal “restraint of trade or commerce.” Any failure on the part of AED to comply strictly with the antitrust laws could result in severe penalties. Treble damages for successful litigants, fines and possible jail terms for individuals involved in any illegal activities, and even dis-establishment of the Association itself are all harsh remedies of the law. These penalties manifest the law’s strong public policy in favor of free and unfettered competition as the rule of trade.
Two laws of the United States which define the antitrust liabilities of trade associations, Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, are both very general in their wording and broad in their scope. Over the years, the courts have interpreted the broad language of the statutes and have provided specific examples of unlawful conduct which violate the principles set down in the law. AED recognizes that so long as it strives to conduct itself in accordance with such guidance, antitrust problems will be avoided.
Inasmuch as it is the policy of AED to comply fully in all respects with the antitrust laws, the following basic principles are endorsed by its Board of Directors as a guide for all members serving in some official capacity for the Association:
1. AED and its members shall make every effort to insure that all of their actions comply with both the letter and spirit of the antitrust statutes of the United States.
2. Any firm meeting the requirements of membership as set forth in Article IV of the bylaws shall be welcomed into AED on a non-discriminatory basis. Once a firm becomes a member, it shall be entitled to the same services that are available to other members on a non-discriminatory basis. No firm shall be expelled except for just cause, and in such manner as is established in the bylaws to insure that the expulsion is fair, objective, reasonable and non-discriminatory.
3. AED will not indulge in, or sanction, any discussions of current or future prices of construction equipment, either for sale or rent. AED meetings and publications will never be a forum for the exchange of information, which could lead to the establishment of cooperative arrangements or activities in violation of the antitrust laws.
4. AED will conduct all statistical functions on a voluntary basis, and all data collected from individual companies will be treated confidentially. Non-members who desire to participate or to receive the results of statistical surveys shall be permitted to do so. Any statistical reporting of past transactions will be reported in composite form and will be clearly spelled out as to its purposes, limitations and proper usage, on terms compatible with the antitrust laws.
5. AED will never enter into or sanction any agreements, which tend to restrict competition between members or within the industry generally. Any standards established by AED shall be formulated by a broad consensus of the membership to insure that there is no anti-competitive effect on the members or on the industry itself.
6. Trade shows sponsored by AED shall be conducted in a non-discriminatory manner. All exhibitors shall have reasonable access to the show on equal terms. AED and its members subscribe to the basic philosophy that free trade and the interaction of competitive forces yield the best allocation of economic resources, the lowest prices to customers, the highest quality, and the greatest progress. AED’s policy on antitrust reaffirms its commitment to conduct the Association’s affairs in a manner conducive to the attainment of those goals.
Adopted by the AED Board of Directors
AED Cancelation Policy:
Refunds are not permitted within 14 business of the event unless a note is received detailing a medical emergency or other similar event.