Antitrust Policy Statement of the Investment Casting Institute
The Investment Casting Institute (ICI) is a trade and technical association of investment casting foundries (and their suppliers) where castings of metal are made.
The ICI is organized to promote the common interests of the investment casting industry. The ICI is not intended to become, and will not become, involved in the competitive business decisions of its members, nor will it take any action which would tend to restrain competition in the investment casting industry.
Nevertheless, it is recognized by the Board of Directors of ICI that the Institute itself, as well as its varied activities, could be regarded by some as a forum or opportunity to promote anti-competitive conduct. For this reason, the Board of Directors promulgates this statement of policy to make clear its unequivocal support for the policy of competition served by federal and state antitrust laws, as well as its uncompromising intent to comply strictly in all respects with those laws.
In addition to stating the ICI's firm commitment to the principle of competition served by antitrust laws, the ICI also wishes to advise that the penalties which may be imposed upon both ICI and its individual and corporate members involved in any violation of such laws are now so severe that prudent business judgment demands that every effort be made to avoid any such violation. In addition to injunctions and other equitable remedies, violations of the Sherman Act, such as price-fixing, are felony crimes for which individuals may now be imprisoned for up to ten (10) years and fined up to one million dollars ($1,000,000.00), and corporations can be fined up to 100 million dollars ($100,000,000.00) for each offense, or twenty percent (20%) of affected commerce. The Department of Justice has recently obtained fines of up to five hundred million dollars ($500,000,000.00). Under the Sherman Act, state Anti Trust law, the Federal Trade Commission Act and Robinson-Patman Act, treble (triple) damage claims based on the amount of gain or loss by private parties (including class actions) for antitrust violations are extremely expensive to litigate and can result in judgments of a magnitude which could destroy the ICI and seriously affect the financial interests of its members. This includes attorney’s fees and “joint and several liability” where one may be liable for an entire Judgement even though their role in the antitrust violation was rather small.
It is the responsibility of every member of the ICI to be guided by ICI's policy of strict compliance with antitrust laws in all ICI activities. It shall be the special responsibility of ICI officers, directors and committee chairmen to ensure that this policy is known and adhered to in the course of activities pursued under their leadership.
To assist the ICI staff and all its officers, directors and committee chairmen in recognizing situations which may raise the appearance of an antitrust problem, the Board will as a matter of policy furnish to each of such persons copies of ICI's General Rules of Antitrust Compliance. The ICI will also make available general legal advice when questions arise as to the manner in which the antitrust laws may apply to the activities of the ICI or to any committee thereof.
Antitrust compliance is the responsibility of every ICI member. If you have any questions or information concerning potentially anti-competitive conduct, please contact the Board’s Executive Committee orally, in writing and even anonymously. Alleged violations of the ICI General Rules of Antitrust Compliance or of this policy statement will be vigorously investigated and reviewed with due process pursuant to the by-laws of the ICI; violations may result in revocation of membership in ICI and removal from any ICI office.
INVESTMENT CASTING INSTITUTE
*General Rules of Antitrust Compliance below
General Rules of Antitrust Compliance
The following rules are applicable to all ICI activities and must be observed in all situations and under all circumstances, without exception or qualification other than as noted below:
1. Neither the ICI nor any committee, conference or activity of the ICI shall be used for the purpose of bringing about, or attempting to bring about, any understanding or agreement, whether written or oral, formal or informal, expressed or implied, among competitors with regard to prices, terms or conditions of sale, discounts, tying provision or purchase of a good or service with another, exclusive dealing arrangements, distribution, volume of production, allocation of territories or customers, restrictions on non-deceptive advertising, or credit of suppliers, customers or competitors or any understanding or agreement which could be perceived as restraining competition.
2. No ICI activity or communication shall (a) include discussion, survey, or action, for any purpose or in any fashion of costs, prices or pricing methods, rebates or other price discrimination, production quotas or other limitations on either the timing or volume of production or of sales; (b) take any action likely to raise prices or reduce quantity or quality of goods available, or (c) involve allocation of territories or markets or customers in any way. “Communication” includes but is not limited to electronic communications, such as emails, test messages, faxes, blog or web posts and/or social media posts.
3. No ICI committee shall undertake any activity, which involves exchange or collection and dissemination among competitors, of any information regarding prices, pricing methods, costs of production, or of sales or distribution or individual company statistics of any kind, without first obtaining the advice of legal counsel, provided by ICI, as to those proper and lawful methods by which these activities may be pursued.
4. No ICI activity or communication shall include any discussion or action which may tend to or may be construed as an attempt to prevent any person or business entity from gaining access to any market or to any customer for goods or services, or to prevent or boycott any supplier, competitor, customer, or other entity from obtaining, accessing, or selling a supply of goods or otherwise purchasing or distributing goods or services freely in the market.
5. No ICI activity or communication shall include any discussion or action which might be construed as an agreement or understanding to refrain from purchasing any raw materials, equipment, services or other supplies from any supplier.
6. Neither ICI nor any committee thereof, shall make any effort to bring about the standardization of any product or method of manufacture, credentialing, listing or certification of any product or program for the purpose of preventing the manufacture or sale of any product not conforming to a specified standard or which would tend to have the overall affect of either lessening competition or resulting in a degree of price stabilization.
7. No person or company shall be commercially disparaged nor shall any ICI Member make statements that are reasonably likely to have a negative reputational impact on another so as to exclude that person or company from ICI membership or participation in any ICI activity where such exclusion is designed to or may impair such person's or company's ability to compete effectively in the investment casting industry.
8. In conducting ICI committee meetings, the chairman thereof shall prepare and follow a formal agenda which shall be provided to all committee members prior to the meeting; else it shall not be considered. Agenda items listed as “Any Other Business: shall be prohibited. Minutes of each meeting shall be distributed to all persons who attended such meetings. Approval of the minutes shall be obtained from the membership of the committee at its next meeting. Copies of the minutes shall be transmitted to the headquarters staff.
9. ICI speakers and authors of conference papers shall be informed of the need to comply with ICI's antitrust policy in the preparation and presentation of their papers and addresses.
10. In informal or social discussions at the site of an ICI meeting (whether such meetings are conducted in-person or via telecommunications services), which are beyond the control of its officers and chairmen, all representatives are expected to observe the same standards of personal conduct required of ICI in its compliance with these antitrust guidelines. Members are reminded that even actions or discussions occurring outside of the U.S. may still be subject to federal antitrust laws. In addition, copies of the foregoing Antitrust Policy Statement and General Rules of Antitrust Compliance will be included in registration packets and will also be printed in the ICI Committee Directory. The Board may from time to time require all members to sign an acknowledgement that each member has read and understood these Rules of Antitrust Compliance.