It is the policy of the Greater Wilmington Radio Association (GWRA) and all its members to comply strictly with all laws applicable to GWRA's activities.
Since GWRA's activities and those of its members by their nature involve cooperative undertakings among competitors and potential competitors, the Board of Directors of GWRA emphasizes the ongoing commitment of the association and its members to full compliance with federal and state antitrust law.
This is a statement of GWRA's policy towards full compliance by the association and its members with the antitrust laws of the United States and includes some guidelines issued by way of example reflecting the activities which are peculiar to its members.
This statement is to be distributed annually at GWRA Board meetings and is to be posted on the GWRA Web site.
The antitrust laws of the United States are designed to preserve a free and competitive marketplace.
These laws are embodied principally in Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act and Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
They are enforced by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.
In general, they prohibit contracts, combinations and conspiracies in restraint of trade.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that not every contract in restraint of trade constitutes a violation; only those which unreasonably restrain trade are unlawful. Whether a restraint is unreasonable is determined by the facts and circumstances in each individual case.
Certain conduct, however, constitutes a per se (automatic) violation of the antitrust laws.
Examples of per se violations are: agreements to establish prices (price fixing); most agreements to refuse to deal with third parties (boycotts); and agreements to allocate markets or limit production. Of particular concern to the Sherman Act are "combinations. . .in restraint of trade".
Because GWRA, like any trade association, is by its nature a combination of competitors, the association must be particularly sensitive that its activities do not constitute antitrust violations.
Individual company members must be careful, particularly when they are acting in concert or joint venture with others, not to take actions which would have the effect of restricting competition or which would restrict the competitive capabilities or opportunities of their competitors, customers or suppliers.
Penalties for violations of antitrust laws are quite severe and can include imprisonment, fines, treble damages and restrictions on future conduct.
Legal advice will be sought on all matters which could potentially involve anticompetitive or illegal activities.
Guidelines For GWRA Members
Because GWRA members are often at the same time competitors and partners, they must be particularly sensitive to the results of their actions with others. The following are guidelines involving some, but obviously not all, potential areas of concern.