Guide to antitrust


Delinquent account reports



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Delinquent account reports. It is lawful to discuss an account which is delinquent or has been delinquent in the past. The safest practice is to:

 Limit the information to past and completed transactions

 Do not discuss uniform action with any one or several of your competitors.

 Do not discuss what you will do in the future with respect to prices, payment terms or discounts.



PERMISSIVE ACTIVITIES BY A CREDIT GRANTOR

(once you get back to your office)



Credit Term changes. It is absolutely legal to alter a credit term to a particular customer provided the decision to make that change is based on factors such as

a. Credit record

b. Review of customer’s financial information

c. Your company’s own position in the market.


Refusal to deal with particular supplier or customer: The courts have held that a manufac­turer has “the right to deal or refuse to deal with a particular distributor as long as it does so unilaterally”. Other cases have found that a manufacturer generally has the right to independently decide with whom it wants to do business,...”. Additionally, it is legal to “deal or refuse to deal...as long as it does so independently; unilateral refusal to deal does not constitute illegal contract, combination or conspiracy...

Pricing: It is perfectly legitimate to adjust a price in order to meet the price being given by a competitor. If a customer tells you that the same goods can be acquired by one of your competi­tors for less money, it is sound business practice to allow you to compete for that sale.

a. It is not necessary to charge the same price to each one of your customers. A price difference is generally permitted if it is justified by other factors such as costs, volume, delivery schedule, or if a lower price is provided to one customer to meet the price of a competitor. Additionally, differences in prices caused by conditions not within your company’s control are also permitted. These would include the sale due to a deterioration in perishable goods, distress sales, sales in the dissolution of a business or discontinuance of a particular portion of your business.


DISCUSSIONS: DON’T SAY ANYTHING TO A FELLOW CREDIT GRANTOR ON THE TELEPHONE, BY FAX OR BY EMAIL THAT YOU WOULD NOT SAY IN A CREDIT GROUP MEETING
Record Keeping. The maintenance of good records including copies of memoranda and letters as well as records of conversations can be essential in defending an allegation of antitrust violations


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