Agricultural Industry Electronics Foundation “AEF e.V.”

Rev. 2

 

Antitrust Policy

Antitrust Statement

In order to fulfil the legitimate purposes of AEF, cooperation between AEF and its members and between AEF members is indispensable, such cooperation including certain activities and the exchange of certain information concerning common and contemporary issues for the agricultural industry.

EU competition law and antitrust regulations, and national competition laws are designated to preserve and promote free competition among and within the member states and to prevent certain agreements, decisions, and practices, in particular, between competitors, irrespective of such conduct having or being meant to have a direct or indirect anti-competitive effect.

AEF unequivocally supports the competition policy of the European Union and its member states and reaffirms its uncompromising intent and commitment to strictly comply with all applicable laws and regulations.

All AEF members are obliged to observe this Antitrust Policy, in particular, in any formal, informal or social discussions at an AEF meeting site, in connection with certain AEF activities or otherwise related to AEF.

Responsibility of AEF members

Each AEF member including all of its representatives are responsible to secure that EU and national competition laws are strictly complied with. AEF members shall, in particular, strictly avoid any agreements, decisions, and practices (including e.g. discussion of topics and any exchange of information) that violate EU and national competition laws within the context of AEF related activities, namely during and in connection with meetings. This reminder has been prepared, in particular, to assure that participants are aware of their obligations under statutory law.
Membership

  1. Any company meeting the requirements of AEF membership set forth in the “Articles of Association” or “Rules of Procedure” shall be admitted as AEF member without discrimination. 

  2. Member participation in any and all AEF activities is completely voluntary. 

  3. Non-Members rights are listed in § 14 “Rules of Procedure”.


Meetings – Face to Face

The Chair/Leader of a face-to-face meeting will circulate a meeting participants list for signing at the start of the meeting. By signing the list, participants will confirm they have taken notice of the AEF Antitrust Policy of which either a copy is attached or is presented on a screen to all participants. In all meeting minutes the response of the participants to the Antitrust Policy will be recorded.

Meetings – Electronic (Phone, Virtual)

The intent of this section is to guide committee chairpersons in complying with the AEF Antitrust Policy when conducting AEF business by electronic means. If a meeting is virtual via e.g. telephone, it should be noted to all participants that this Antitrust Policy must be reviewed on the AEF server or sent to the individuals upon request, or when using online conferencing facilities that this Antitrust Policy is presented on the screen. The Chair/Leader will ask each participant for confirmation at the start of the virtual meeting.

The following statement should be read to the attendees, after which they should confirm their acknowledgement of this Antitrust Policy.

“All participants are reminded that AEF meetings will adhere to the AEF Antitrust Policy. If you are not familiar with this policy, the full AEF Antitrust Policy is available in the AEF SharePoint for review.

If any participant believes the group is drifting toward an impermissible discussion, they are required to state their concern.
If you would please confirm that you are familiar with the AEF Antitrust Policy, by indicating so to the chairperson it will be noted in the minutes.”
Important Note

Each participant, including non-members with approval or consent shall always sign the participants list, including the notifications on Antitrust Policy, Assignment of Exploitation Rights, Industrial Property Rights, etc. as stated in the “AEF Rules of Procedure” in every meeting!
In case a participant refuses to sign, the participant shall leave the meeting! This is valid for all attendees.

Topics of Discussion

  1. AEF activities or communications shall include discussions or action on matters of interest to the industry. 

  2. No AEF activity or communication shall include any discussion or action, for any purpose or in any fashion, relating to prices or pricing methods, price strategies, margins, earnings, rebates, offers, production quotas, customers or sales areas, strategic directions, investments, or other information on production or sales. 

  3. No AEF activity or communication shall include information about plant utilization, stock levels, and stock outreach.
  4. No AEF activity or communication shall include discussion or action which might be construed as an attempt to prevent any person or entity from gaining access to any customer, goods or services, to boycott any person or entity, or to prevent any person or entity from purchasing goods or services freely in the market. 

  5. No AEF activity or communication shall include discussion or action which might be construed as an agreement or understanding to refrain from purchasing materials, equipment, services or other supplies from any supplier. 

  6. No AEF activity or communication shall include any other discussion or action which would tend to restrict competition in any manner.