AAFP Antitrust-Compliance Statement
It is the policy of AAFP to comply strictly with the letter and spirit of all applicable federal, state, and international trade regulations and antitrust laws. Any activities of the AAFP or AAFP-related actions of its staff, officers, board members, committee members, task force members, volunteers or members that violate these regulations and laws can be detrimental to the interests of AAFP and are contrary to AAFP policy. Participation in this list service by its very nature brings competitors together. Accordingly, it is necessary to avoid discussions of sensitive competitive topics and especially important to avoid recommendations with respect to such subjects. Agreements to fix prices or fees, to allocate markets, to engage in product boycotts and to refuse to deal with third parties are automatically illegal under the antitrust laws. It does not matter what the reason for the agreement might be.
An antitrust violation does not require proof of a formal agreement. A discussion of a sensitive topic, such as fees, followed by parallel action by those involved in or present at the discussion is enough to show a price fixing conspiracy. In any list service discussions about prices or fees, including elements of prices such as payment terms, quality ratings of suppliers, statements or discussion that might be interpreted as a dividing up of territories or customers, and statements or discussions which may cause a competitor to cease purchasing from a particular supplier, or selling to a particular customer, must be avoided. Following is a list of subjects which may not be the subject of any type of agreement among competitors, whether explicit or implicit, formal or informal, and which therefore should not even be discussed on the AAFP list services:
- Prices or fees to be charged to clients or by suppliers
- Specific methods by which prices or fees are to be determined
- Division or allocation of markets or customers
- Coordination of bids or requests for bids
- Terms and conditions of sales, including payment terms
- Specific profit levels
- "Profit" levels. e.g., "here's what we need to make money"
- Exchange of price information as to clients or groups of clients
- A boycott of or a refusal to deal with a customer or supplier
- Compilation of "approved" lists of customers or suppliers
- Whether a firm's pricing practices are "unethical," "improper," etc.
- Coordination of "bids," "requests for bids," or "requests for proposals"
- Standards or codes to eliminate competition