TSLA AntiTrust Compliance Statement
Guidelines For Discussion
The following guidelines are intended to provide a general framework regarding appropriate areas of discussion at all TSLA meetings, conferences, and other events, including meeting breaks and social functions sponsored by TSLA. These guidelines should be reviewed by each member prior to participation in any TSLA meeting, and each member should contact its own legal counsel if that member has any questions regarding permitted or prohibited behavior.
The antitrust laws aim to protect the public from agreements between competitors that affect the price or distribution of products, while promoting fair and vigorous competition in the marketplace. TSLA members, as competitors in the market, will always act in their individual, competitive best interest. When members meet at TSLA functions, however, there are legitimate concerns about the application of the antitrust laws to their discussions. Because TSLA meetings are not authorized by any state regulatory official acting under proper statutory authority, the McCarran-Ferguson Act exemption does not provide protection against antitrust enforcement.
Discussion of political and legislative issues is protected from antitrust liability under the Noer-Pennington doctrine, which is based on the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech and the right to petition government. TSLA members are generally free to discuss individual and joint plans to influence government action and other political activities including direct lobbying, campaign contributions, media campaigns, testimony before governmental bodies, grassroots activities, and coordination of lobbying efforts with other associations and groups. In order to maintain the immunity, discussion must relate to support of or opposition to legislation, regulatory action, or judicial proceedings. The immunity applies to political activities even if those activities have a business impact, but it does not protect discussion of business activities simply because they have a political impact. Members may therefore not discuss market activity to influence a governmental body or market response to legislation or regulation.
TSLA intends to continue to monitor the legal environment in which it functions, and to keep members advised as to changes. Nevertheless, each TSLA member is solely responsible for its own compliance with these guidelines and with federal and state antitrust laws.