The antitrust laws of the United States were enacted to prevent companies, or groups of companies, from engaging in unfair trade practices. One aspect of these laws deals with companies working together to restrict competition (collusion). Industry associations, by nature, call for companies to work together on various issues. It is not illegal for competitors to work together, unless in doing so they are restricting competition within a given industry. Because of this, various government bodies that are charged with enforcing the antitrust laws keep careful watch over industry organizations such as the American Association of Drilling Engineers ("AADE"). That is why it is important that all AADE meetings be conducted to avoid even the appearance that members have done anything improper. It is the responsibility of each member to avoid raising improper topics for discussion.
REMEMBER: Both your company and you as an individual can be prosecuted for violations of antitrust laws. A conviction for violating antitrust law may result in stiff fines for the association and its individual members and their employers, jail sentences for individuals who participated in the violation, a consent decree under which the association must operate or a court order disbanding the association.
It is the policy of AADE to comply fully with all federal and state antitrust laws and neither AADE nor its facilities or systems may be used by any member for any improper or unlawful purpose.
Those participating in AADE activities at all levels, including work groups, project teams, steering committees, etc., need to proceed with caution to ensure against inadvertent violations of federal and state antitrust laws.
Agendas, minutes or other records of all meetings must be kept on file at AADE to document the topics discussed. The following topics should be strictly avoided in all discussions at AADE (and a reminder read at the start of each meeting in the form of the attached statement):
Regarding your company's and/or your competitors:
Regarding your company's and/or your competitors' selection of their suppliers:
Regarding your company's and/or your competitors' trade secrets:
© 2020 American Association of Drilling Engineers