GS1 US Antitrust Compliance Policy
The fundamental purpose of GS1 US Initiatives is to assemble a representative cross-section of supply chain leaders to work closely with GS1 US in the development and voluntary individual company adoption and implementation of GS1 Standards to improve data exchange efficiencies and complexities, improve product information quality, and support the development of traceability systems of the future. This Initiative is intended to improve competition and facilitate competitive practices. Adherence to this Antitrust Compliance Policy will facilitate that purpose.
It is the policy and practice of the GS1 US Initiatives to conduct all of its meetings and activities in strict compliance with applicable federal and state laws. Because participants in the Initiative are often competitors, it is particularly important to comply fully with federal and state antitrust laws. These laws seek to preserve and promote competition and to deter anticompetitive conduct.
Participants in the GS1 US Initiatives are committed both to strict compliance with the antitrust laws and to the avoidance of any appearance of improper or anticompetitive conduct. Counsel for one of the GS1 US Initiatives participants may: review agendas, key action items, handouts, and slide presentations in advance of all meetings; review meeting Minutes in advance of distribution; and be present, as requested, to monitor Initiative meetings that might give rise to competitive concerns. Individual companies are strongly urged to consult with their own counsel for legal advice concerning documents a company wishes to disseminate, presentations made by company officials, and other pertinent issues.
Violations of the antitrust laws can result in serious penalties for both companies and individuals. These penalties include treble damage awards, heavy fines, and injunctions. Individuals may be subject to imprisonment. It is, therefore, incumbent upon everyone participating in any Initiative activities to avoid subject areas and discussions which might be construed as anticompetitive.
Participants in the GS1 US Initiative or anyone making presentations to the Initiative should read and abide by the following rules:
- There should be no discussion of prices, one’s own or those of a competitor, or of any factors which might affect prices such as discounts or margins, and terms and conditions of sale.
- There should be no discussion of profits, profit margins or cost data of one’s own, or those of a competitor.
- There should be no discussion that might lead to any agreement to raise, lower or hold present or future price levels.
- There should be no discussions regarding allocation of territories, markets, or customers.
- There should be no discussions regarding restrictions upon production, boycotts or refusals to deal.
- There should be no discussions regarding selection, rejection, or termination of customers or suppliers.
- There should be no discussion or conduct at social events incidental to Initiative meetings that would not be proper at the meetings themselves.
- All discussions during Initiative meetings must be limited to agenda items that counsel for one of the Initiative’s participants has reviewed and approved.
If a subject with any anticompetitive implication or appearance is raised at any Initiative meeting, persons attending the meeting should object and request that the subject be dropped.