The antitrust laws seek to preserve a free competitive economy in the United States and in commerce with foreign countries. As a general rule, competitors may not restrain competition among themselves through understandings or agreements as to the price, the production, or the distribution of their services, or other agreements which unreasonably restrict competition. They may not act in concert to restrict the competitive capabilities or opportunities of their competitors, their suppliers, or their customers.
We encourage free and open discussions of matters of mutual interest to all participants in the Executive Roundtable for Mortgage Finance. Nevertheless, as a gathering of competitors in the industry, the Executive Roundtable for Mortgage Finance is an event where participants must pay close attention to conduct that may constitute an antitrust violation.
The antitrust laws are often of unclear applicability, and unlawful agreements can be inferred from circumstantial evidence. Furthermore, penalties for violating the antitrust laws are severe. While it is the ultimate responsibility of each participant in the Executive Roundtable for Mortgage Finance to comply with all applicable antitrust laws, the guidelines set forth below are designed to avoid even the appearance of questionable activity.
At any presentations or meetings (formal or informal) the following topics should NOT be discussed:
- Current or future industry prices,
- What constitutes a “fair profit level,”
- Possible increases or decreases in prices,
- Standardization or stabilization of prices,
- Pricing procedures or formulas,
- Credit terms,
- Allocation of customers or geographic division of markets,
- Refusal to deal with a corporation because of its pricing practices,
- Whether or not the pricing practices of any industry member are unethical or constitute an unfair trade practice,
- Information concerning any individual company’s costs, profits, market share, or other commercial information of a non-public nature.