Skip to the content

Antitrust Policy

It is the express policy of Institute for Supply Management®(ISM®) and CAPS Research to comply at all times with all existing laws, including the antitrust laws and in furtherance thereof, this ISM® and CAPS Research Antitrust Policy shall apply to all activities and programs sponsored or conducted by or within ISM, including CAPS Research and is intended to minimize the risk of the appearance of any violation of the antitrust laws.

General Standards for ISM and CAPS Research Activities

The following General Standards shall apply to all ISM-sponsored Meetings, events and activities:

  • This ISM Antitrust Policy will be made available to all ISM members and others involved in ISM meetings, activities and events by publication on the ISM and CAPS Research websites and will be referred to when appropriate in program announcements, materials, surveys and other publications.
  • All ISM meetings shall be scheduled meetings. An agenda shall be prepared and distributed to attendees in advance and will be reviewed by legal counsel where necessary. Subjects not included on the agenda generally will not be discussed at a meeting.
  • When necessary to comply with this ISM/ CAPS Research Antitrust Policy, legal counsel will be present at meetings and events.
  • When necessary to comply with this ISM Antitrust Policy, minutes meetings will be reviewed by legal counsel.
  • When necessary to comply with this ISM Antitrust Policy, legal counsel will approve new ISM programs and changes in existing programs.

Discussion of the following will be avoided at all ISM and CAPS Research meetings:

  • Current or future prices
  • What constitutes fair profits
  • Possible increases or decreases in prices
  • Standardization or stabilization of prices
  • Pricing procedures.
  • Cash discounts
  • Credit terms
  • Control of sales
  • Allocation of markets, and freight allowances
  • Specific contract terms used with suppliers
  • Plans or strategies to award or remove business from a particular supplier
  • Refusal to deal with a corporation or individual because of its pricing or marketing practices
  • Confidential information or trade secrets

ISM and CAPS Research reports, surveys and other information products will be made available to nonmembers with a valid business purpose, subject to reasonable delay in publication and reasonable charges when appropriate.

Standards for Conduct and Use of Surveys and Benchmarking

ISM and CAPS Research shall not disclose trade secrets or other confidential proprietary information of survey respondents which would ordinarily be withheld from competitors or others.

The purposes of the survey are to be well defined, and the possible use of the survey or statistical program identified.

How we conduct our survey studies:

  • Survey questions and compilation of data are to be formulated in a simple, concise manner.
  • Participation in or responding to the survey must be voluntary.
  • Price or cost data to be provided shall be at least three months old at the time of response.
  • Non-price forward-looking data will not be requested or provided.
  • There shall be at least five providers reporting data upon which each disseminated statistic is based and no individual provider’s data shall represent more than 25% on a weighted basis of that statistic.
  • Information disseminated shall be sufficiently aggregated such that it will not allow recipients to identify the data provided by individual respondents.
  • ISM will maintain and preserve the confidentiality of the original information collected.
  • Data will be collected and analyzed by a party independent of those furnishing information.
  • Participants in a survey shall not have access to the raw data submitted and compiled.
  • All surveys shall comply with applicable guidelines and regulations of the United States Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission.

Standards for ISM Sponsored Events

All ISM sponsored meetings, events and activities shall be conducted in accordance with the General Standards set forth above.

At all ISM sponsored meetings, events and activities, including breakout sessions, meals and social events, discussion of the topics listed under paragraph 6 of the General Standards shall be avoided. All participants are encouraged to promptly object to any question, comment or discussion that they do not believe is appropriate.

Program materials distributed at all ISM sponsored meetings, events and activities shall prominently refer to the ISM Antitrust Policy and include the list of topics that should not be discussed.