Adopted August 2019
The Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance (SEEA) drives market transformation in the Southeast’s energy efficiency sector through collaborative public policy, thought leadership, programs and technical advisory services. Sound policy and good governance indicate that our organization should have an antitrust compliance policy. Our stakeholders expect that. And we want our organization to follow the letter and spirit of all laws. U.S. federal and state antitrust laws are the rules under which our competitive system operates. It is SEEA’s policy to comply in all respects with the antitrust laws.
This policy is designed to help in that compliance. It outlines practices among competitors that may be illegal. It also describes practices that may sometimes be defensible, but which experience teaches to be typical springboards to government investigations and private lawsuits.
Here are the rules for directors’ meetings, committee meetings and all other activities of SEEA. (When we refer here to a “stakeholder,” we mean a company that is a member of SEEA or has a representative on the SEEA board or on a committee or serving as an officer.)
- Do not communicate about prices or rates charged by a stakeholder company. You don’t want to be accused of doing something that could lead to price-fixing.
- Don’t communicate about whether a stakeholder company is cutting back on production or capacity or expanding. If an industry reduction in capacity occurs with attendant increase in price, and if there have been discussions about capacity or production at SEEA meetings, someone might assert that SEEA assisted in a conspiracy.
- In technical standard-setting, do not allow a stakeholder’s company to disadvantage its competitors. Have a sound principled impartial basis for the standard. Make sure the majority of members of any standard-setting group or committee is independent of any interest in the standard being set.
- Do not communicate about any upcoming bids where your stakeholder companies may be bidding. You don’t want to be accused of bid-rigging.
- Do not communicate about a division of territories or customers. For instance, an antitrust violation could occur where one director said that director’s company would likely abstain from selling in one territory if another company would stay out of that director’s company’s territory. Or, “You stay away from X Power Company, and we’ll stay away from Y Power Company.”
- Do not communicate about plans by stakeholder companies to stop buying or dealing with someone. You don’t want to be accused of encouraging a group boycott.
- Clear agendas for directors’ meetings and committee meetings with the President. They will consult with counsel as necessary. Stick to the agenda.
- Don’t do anything prohibited by this list in the bar or at dinner or milling around after the meeting.
Some of the activities on this prohibited list are criminal violations. They could lead to prison terms and fines. If in doubt, talk to the President, who will consult with antitrust counsel.