It is the policy of the Alabama Brewers Guild, Inc. (the “Guild”) to comply with all applicable laws, including antitrust or competition laws. This policy mandates that we conduct all Guild meetings and activities in strict compliance with federal and state antitrust laws.
This Antitrust Compliance policy is not legal advice and may contain requirements that are more or less restrictive than applicable legal requirements. Guild members and participants should seek legal advice from their respective advisers.
This policy applies to all Guild-sponsored meetings and other communication mediums, such as discussion lists, where members and guests interact. It is not intended to affect internal Guild interactions with Board members and staff concerning legitimate discussions regarding Guild business.
Antitrust violations may result in severe consequences for business entities and individuals. Penalties may include damage awards up to three times actual damages, governmental fines, injunctions, and even imprisonment for involved individuals.
A principal purpose of the antitrust laws is to preserve competition; therefore, the antitrust laws generally prohibit actual and potential competitors from agreeing not to compete with one another. Specifically, competitors may not limit competition among themselves through agreements (written or not) regarding the production, sale or distribution of their competitive products or services. Competitors generally cannot agree not to compete with one another (i) on price, (ii) for customers or territories, or (iii) about the parties with which they will not do business.
Competitors and associations of competitors like the Guild, however, may work cooperatively in other areas such as the lobbying or petitioning of governmental entities at the federal, state and local levels. Such petitioning may even seek a result that may affect competition in either a positive or negative way.
While we believe that the purposes and objectives of the Guild are perfectly legitimate, we must recognize that Guild members and guests may be competitors of one another; therefore, it is imperative that all avoid even the appearance of antitrust impropriety.
During meetings and other Guild-hosted communications, all members and guests must abide by this Compliance Policy, including the following rules:
- No discussion of prices or factors affecting prices, e.g., discounts, credit terms, etc.;
- No discussion of costs, profits or profit margins;
- No discussion about allocating customers, markets, or territories;
- No discussion about refusals to deal with or boycotts of any supplier or customer;
- No discussion about restricting production;
- No discussion that could lead to an agreement to raise, lower or stabilize prices; and
- All discussions and conduct at social events or informal gatherings of any type in connection with Guild activities must comply with the foregoing rules.
The Guild shall provide guidance to participants who may be violating this policy.
The Guild may ask individuals to leave an event for failure to comply with any aspect of this policy.
The Guild may ban individuals from a communication medium for violating any aspect of this policy.
Individuals should be encouraged to consult counsel if they have questions concerning this policy or its application.