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Volume 32, Issue 1

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Monday, 18 February 2019 16:49

3 Principles For Compliant Communications With Competitors

Steering Clear of Antitrust Pitfalls

Knowing how to engage in competitor interactions is often more art than science. There are few clear lines of conduct to guide information exchanges made for legitimate business reasons. But broad principles do exist to help you consider your options carefully. Vedder Price’s Brian McCalmon discusses.

Throughout the country, sales managers, supervisors and executives attend antitrust trainings with varying degrees of regularity and detail. Antitrust as a corporate and individual pitfall is familiar to most doing business in the United States and abroad. If asked, most sales executives and line personnel can list the most dangerous and easily spotted scenarios to avoid: Don’t ask competitors about their pricing plans; don’t talk to competitors about customers; if competitors begin to discuss forbidden topics in a trade association meeting, stand up, announce your departure for the record and abruptly exit. This is all Antitrust 101.

But there is an Antitrust 102 and 103, and situations calling for a deeper understanding of antitrust may be thrust upon senior executives before they have had time to digest the consequences of a bad choice in the moment. Some risks may be so unobvious that the executive may never see the antitrust consequences at all. And a healthy respect for the antitrust laws, coupled with a poor understanding of them, has led to the unnecessary stifling of potentially efficient corporate initiatives. A deeper understanding of how communications with competitors, suppliers and customers may violate competition law can reduce risk and allow more efficient and procompetitive arrangements to flourish.

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https://www.corporatecomplianceinsights.com/3-principles-for-compliant-communications-with-competitors/