It is the policy of Michigan Infrastructure and Transportation Association (“MITA”) to comply with all applicable laws, including the antitrust laws. All member company representatives and the MITA staff must be sensitive to the unique legal issues involving trade associations and take the necessary steps to comply with U.S. federal and state antitrust laws and similar foreign competition laws. MITA recognizes the potentially severe consequences of failing to comply with the antitrust laws.
The antitrust laws are intended to foster and to protect competition, which benefits consumers. Competition leads to lower prices, higher quality, and increased output of goods and services. Associations like MITA can promote competition by engaging in a variety of activities, including educating the public, conveying information to the government, and collecting and disseminating certain information about the industries in which they operate. MITA, in fact, actively promotes the exchange of ideas and developments in the heavy civil construction industry throughout Michigan to foster competition among industry participants. For example, MITA vigorously challenges public owner bidding rules that contravene competitive bidding principles in order to maximize competition for public works projects. However, MITA recognizes group activities among competitors – such as those conducted by trade associations – often bring competitors together in person and through information sharing raise the suspicions of enforcement agencies that competitors might agree to engage in behavior that hurts consumers. Consequently, MITA works to ensure that the association is not misused as a vehicle for anti-competitive agreements or activities regarding prices, boycotts, exclusion of firms from the market, or other unlawful activities. For this reason, MITA has developed this Antitrust Compliance Policy (“Policy”) to provide a general overview of antitrust laws and specific guidelines to assist MITA and its members conduct activities in conformity with antitrust laws.
The summary of antitrust law presented in this Policy is intended to highlight issues that commonly arise in a trade association context. The text of this Policy is not a comprehensive discussion of the antitrust laws. Compliance with U.S. and individual state laws can be challenging because of the fact-specific nature of antitrust analysis and the broad wording of the statutes. Members are encouraged to discuss member-specific matters with their own counsel.