As a 501(c)(6) tax-exempt business league, PBOA takes its antitrust requirements seriously. The following antitrust statement is shared with all PBOA Member and Affiliate companies:
PBOA Antitrust Statement
The antitrust laws of the United States and the various states prohibit agreements, combinations and conspiracies in restraint of trade. Because PBOA and other trade and professional associations are, by definition, combinations of competitors, one element of a possible antitrust violation is always present, and only some action by the association that unreasonably restrains trade needs to occur for there to be an antitrust violation. Consequently, associations are common targets of antitrust plaintiffs and prosecutors. PBOA members should avoid discussing certain subjects when they are together. While there is an important exception to the antitrust laws that permits competitors to come together to influence legislation and regulations, as a general rule, please adhere to the following guidelines:
- Do not discuss prices, fees or rates, or features that can impact (raise, lower or stabilize) prices such as discounts, costs, terms and conditions of sale, warranties, or profit margins.
- Do not personalize any discussion about payment rates, i.e., “this payment is not enough for me.”
- Do not exchange data concerning fees, prices, production, sales, bids, costs, customer credit, or other business practices unless the exchange is made pursuant to a well-considered plan that has been approved by legal counsel.
- Do not discuss your customers with your competitors.
- Do not discuss or implement a plan to boycott any public program or another entity – this is not protected by the exception that permits competitors to influence legislation and regulations.
- Do ensure that if questions arise about the legal aspects of PBOA’s activities or your individual responsibilities under the antitrust laws, you seek advice and counsel from your own counsel or from the staff and counsel of PBOA.