Law Firm Oregon and Washington, Schwabe, Williamson and Wyatt, Attorneys at Law.
Trade organizations, which are governed and directed by competitors and potential competitors, have long been recognized as having the potential to foster anti-competitive behavior in violation of state and federal antitrust laws. In March of 2009, the Federal Trade Commission announced an action that highlights this risk and suggests steps that trade organizations should take to prevent antitrust violations.
The FTC’s action came in proceeding called In re National Association of Music Merchants, Inc. NAMM is a nonprofit corporation made up of 9,000 companies that manufacture, wholesale and retail musical instruments in the U.S. According to the FTC’s complaint, NAMM organized and sponsored numerous events where industry companies shared detailed cost, price and margin information, discussed strategies for enforcing “maximum advertised price” programs and other methods to increase retail pricing and margins in the sale of musical instruments.
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