The Antitrust Review of the Americas 2012

Trade Associations

05 September 2011

Generally, the US courts - as well as the two US antitrust enforcement agencies, the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice (DoJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (together, ‘the Agencies’) - view the conduct of trade associations and their members as pro-competitive or competitively neutral.1 Trade associations can perform difficult information gathering, set useful standards that would otherwise elude an industry, petition governments, and inform the legislative and legal process. Because trade associations provide forums for competitors to communicate and interact openly, collaborate, exchange information and set standards, among other things, trade associations or their individual members can unwittingly run afoul of US antitrust statutes and regulations if they are not mindful of their activities.

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