Competition Law and Trade Association Meetings
BIC’s advice to its members attending BIC meetings and/or other BIC eventseither in person, or via conference call
Trade associations, such as BIC, can serve a number of valuable pro-competitive functions. For example, they can create necessary or desirable industry standards (e.g. quality and safety standards) and codes of practice. Associations can also represent members’ interests regarding legislation, regulation and policy matters affecting the members as well as lobbying relevant governmental and European Union bodies (eg the European Commission).
At the same time, trade associations are self-regulatory and may pose certain competition/anti-trust risks because their membership is usually made up of industry competitors (either actual or potential). By the very nature of the association, discussion and co-operation amongst competitors is likely to occur. This creates the possibility of the trade association being used, directly or indirectly, as a vehicle for anti-competitive or even collusive activity. While the mere opportunity to conspire presented by a trade association meeting is not of itself enough to be of concern, BIC advises its members that care should be taken to ensure that contacts with competitors do not otherwise create a basis for anti-competitive conduct eg a finding of unlawful agreement or illegal information exchanges.
Please refer to the document below for more information regarding BIC's Competition Law Policy.