ANTITRUST AND COMPETITION
Antitrust laws protect trade and commerce from unlawful restraints, price discrimination, price fixing and monopolies. The purpose of antitrust laws is to preserve fair and open competition. Nearly all countries in which Kohler Co. does business prohibit anticompetitive practices.
In our relationships, contracts or joint activities with competitors, we, as associates are required to fully comply with all antitrust laws.
Some violations such as agreements to fix prices are prosecuted as serious crimes. Criminal penalties may include fines for both the Company and individual participants in addition to imprisonment.
RELATIONSHIPS WITH COMPETITORS
Kohler Co. prohibits any agreement between itself and its competitors to fix prices for its goods and services. Any other agreements that eliminate or restrict competition with competitors are prohibited.
CONTRACTS WITH COMPETITORS
While exchange of information among competitors is often lawful, it may still raise antitrust issues. For this reason, all contracts and communications with competitors regarding business matters should be approved in advance by Kohler Co. Legal department.
JOINT ACTIVITIES WITH COMPETITORS
Trade Associations and Societies: Kohler Co. Legal Counsel should be consulted before engaging in any activity that either establishes membership qualifications or seeks to standardize industry products. Further, Kohler Co. associates are prohibited from being involved in trade association activities that are contrary to Kohler Co. policy.
Kohler Co. Legal Counsel should be consulted before engaging with competitors to lawfully present industry positions to federal, state or local governments. Legal counsel can help determine whether the requested governmental action will adversely affect our suppliers, customers or competitors.
EXPORT AND IMPORT RESTRICTIONS
Kohler Co. prohibits any measures that directly or indirectly make it more difficult to export Company product from one country to another, such as dual pricing and obstruction of intermediaries.
You approach your supervisor and share your growing concern about Q4 sales figures for a particular region of the world. The boss pulls you aside and “in confidence” tells you not to worry. He informs you of an “arrangement” he has made with a competitor to adjust its pricing and position to help ensure that the company will hit its goal for the quarter. You are bothered by this approach and fear it may jeopardize ethical practices and the long-term sustainability of the Company’s success in that region.
The Company abides by antitrust laws to preserve and protect fair and open competition. In our relations, contracts or joint activities with competitors, Kohler Co. associates are required to fully comply with all antitrust laws. Any practice that violates these laws must be reported immediately.