International Tin Association Antitrust Guidelines
The International Tin Association Ltd (‘ITA’) is a not-for-profit organisation created to support and encourage the use of tin in existing and new applications. In its role promoting the industry, ITA recognises and understands the need to preserve competition in the market and below sets out guidelines for its members at meetings of the ITA to ensure compliance with relevant competition and antitrust laws. The members are asked to follow the below guidelines with regards to how they conduct themselves at both the formal meetings of ITA, as well as any informal conversations and discussions both before and after such meetings.
Discussion of information
ITA’s commitment to upholding competition and antitrust law requires its members to abstain from the use of ITA and any of its related events and meetings, including social events, as a means to communicate, facilitate or come to any kind of arrangement amongst members that would damage competition within the market.
There are certain areas of sensitive commercial information that should never be discussed between competitors, either formally or informally, intentionally or inadvertently. There can be exceptions where the information is already in the public domain, but, if in doubt, this should be checked with your legal representative.
Members should never discuss company business matters or agree on collective action in order to affect prices, production volumes, company sales or company costs where those companies are competitors. However, members may discuss non-confidential information already in the public domain and developments in the sector in general terms, including commodity prices, market data and forecasts, market risks, industry standards, industry PR and non-strategic technical/scientific data.
Dissemination of information
Where ITA collect and disseminate information, such as industry statistics, market reports or benchmarking studies, the sharing and the manner of how this information is treated and communicated is to be approached with caution. The ITA (via a third party or independent ITA staff) must collect the data from the members, these members not sharing the information directly between themselves. This must be historical information or forecasts only and be communicated back to the members in aggregation, anonymously and in a manner that ensures that information cannot be attributed to a particular member through its context, unless such disclosure has already been agreed by all members. Where information is to be made public, the ITA will make this clear before information is collected.
What to do if you have concerns
If you are in an ITA meeting (or meeting with a competitor at any time) and the conversation veers onto improper subjects such as those identified above, you must:
- Expressly state that you cannot be party to discussions on this subject due to competition law concerns and ask that the subject is changed.
- If the conversation does not change, then you must leave the meeting and ensure that your departure is recorded in formal minutes or otherwise.
- It is not enough to remain in the room/on the telephone and simply not participate in the conversation. You must remove yourself from it.
- You should promptly report the incident to your management and/or legal representative.
ITA requires its members to acknowledge these antitrust guidelines and to abide by them at all times. Whilst ITA will continue to restate and operate within these guidelines at all official ITA events and meetings, it is the responsibility of members to make themselves fully aware of the content of these guidelines and ensure their compliance with competition laws generally. Where members remain unclear as to the requirements of these guidelines then specialist independent legal advice should be sought.