FTC Approves Final Orders Requiring Trade Associations to Eliminate Rules that Restrict Competition

The Federal Trade Commission recently approved final orders settling charges in two separate cases alleging that the bylaws of the trade associations restrained competition.

While business associations can generate many efficiencies and  be great forums for learning, care should be taken to avoid potential problems when competitors are involved.  In both these cases a relatively small front end spend on antitrust and competition law counseling could have avoided the significant expense, burden and negative publicity of the consent order process and the ongoing compliance monitoring imposed.