STATISTICS AND SURVEY POLICY
The VMA follows a written set of policies and procedures for the collection, compilation and dissemination of statistical reports and surveys. The written policies are available from the office of the VMA president.
Basic guidelines of the policies include:
All statistical compilation programs are cleared with legal counsel, and VMA assumes responsibility for confidentiality and the reasonable accuracy of statistical releases.
Company data are provided under sealed cover to VMA's president, the only staff member with access to raw company data. All company submissions are destroyed after the compilation is completed.
All statistics are submitted on a voluntary basis. Any member can decline to participate in a VMA study. No member may be refused participation.
Companies that participate in a survey will receive the results.
ANTITRUST COMPLIANCE POLICY
VMA is committed to full and unequivocal compliance with antitrust laws. It will not risk impairment of the functions it performs as a trade association by misuse of any of its activities in a manner that might violate these laws. The guidelines below set forth have been established to prevent any possibility of violation.
Subjects That May Not Be Discussed
The standards in this section apply to all VMA-sponsored activities and VMA members whenever they participate in non-VMA activities as representatives of the VMA.
Any agreement as to price among competitors is a violation of the Sherman Act, regardless of the reasonableness of the price set or whether the effect of the agreement is to raise, lower, peg or stabilize price levels. It follows that any discussion of prices or price levels at association meetings is forbidden. By the same token, there must be no discussion of any elements of company operation that might influence price, such as:
Another per se violation of the antitrust laws is any agreement not to compete among business firms. Accordingly, no discussions of division of territories or customers or limitations on the nature of business may be discussed at any VMA function.
Concerted refusals to deal (boycotts) are likewise unlawful. No discussion related to this practice will be tolerated. Included within this prohibition are any discussion of black (or white) lists and any unfavorable reports involving particular suppliers.
The standards in this section apply to all board and committee meetings sponsored by the VMA.
In the case of VMA-sponsored meetings, legal counsel will be in attendance to the greatest extent possible. In the event of conflicting meetings, or where counsel cannot attend for other reasons, VMA staff will be in attendance and counsel will clear the agenda in advance of the meeting.
Each VMA-sponsored meeting must have an agenda, which must be followed. If, in the judgment of the chairman of the meeting, it is urgent that an issue not listed on the agenda be discussed, counsel shall be consulted before discussion proceeds, if counsel is in attendance at the meeting, but in any event, the chairman shall control the discussion, consistent with the standards set forth in Section I. Minutes of each meeting should be prepared by a duly designated secretary, approved by counsel, then circulated to all committee members and to other members on request.
All participants should conduct themselves in meetings as though they were open to the public.
If counsel announces that a particular discussion could border on an area of antitrust sensitivity that discussion will terminate forthwith.
Adherence to these guidelines is essential to the fulfillment of VMA’s functions without either the fact or appearance of antitrust violations.
VMA-sponsored statistical activities shall be conducted in accordance with the policies and procedures governing the Collections, Compilation, and Dissemination of Statistics by the Valve Manufacturers Association, adopted May 9, 1979.
Consequences of Violating the Antitrust Laws
For several reasons, it is important for all VMA members to understand the prohibitions and requirements of the antitrust laws. First, an understanding of the laws is essential to compliance. Second, an understanding of the laws will alert VMA members and staff to their rights under the laws, so that they might protect themselves and VMA from violations of the law by others.