Trade associations serve legitimate business objectives, such as advocating for the industry and educating consumers. However, because trade associations often involve interactions among competitors, they can expose members to greater risks of anti-competitive conduct and attract heightened scrutiny from competition enforcers.
Clients come to us to help them address and manage these risks. We take time to understand how their collaboration with their chosen trade association furthers their business objectives and assist them navigate potential pitfalls.
We have substantial experience in assisting trade associations in developing codes of conduct and compliance programs to ensure they conduct their operations in a manner that achieves their legitimate objectives without breaching competition laws. We also provide general counselling in relation to the implications under the competition laws of activities, whether planned or historical. Our lawyers will often attend trade association meetings to ensure prohibited topics are not discussed. We also provide representation before Canadian and South African competition authorities, tribunals and courts.
If your business is part of a trade association and/or are considering being a member of one, or you are looking to form a competitor collaboration, contact us to discuss how to ensure you proactively address potential concerns of anti-competitive conduct.