Antitrust for Nonprofits – Particularly Trade and Professional Associations


Given the interaction of competitors at association meetings and the vigilance of antitrust authorities regarding potential abuses of association programs and activities, antitrust is an essential element of our work for trade and professional associations.

Venable attorneys have counseled hundreds of trade and professional associations on antitrust compliance and helped defend them from antitrust investigations and claims. For example, we have:

  • drafted antitrust compliance manuals for organizations such as the U.S. Telecom Association, the National Telecommunications Cooperative Association; the Risk and Insurance Management Society;
  • counseled the Entertainment Software Association, the Automotive Warranty and Service Contract Association and the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of America on the antitrust risks posed by new ventures and activities;
  • advised hundreds of clients on the lawful structuring of salary surveys, the collection of price and cost data and other information exchanges, group purchasing programs, joint marketing, advertising and public relations campaigns, membership restrictions, trade show and advertising restrictions, certification and accreditation programs, standard-setting and numerous other association programs and activities that pose anti-competitive risk; and
  • long been involved with the American National Standards Institute ("ANSI") process.

We also regularly handle large-scale civil and criminal antitrust investigations and litigation for clients nationwide.  

With a wealth of antitrust experience—from former federal antitrust enforcement officials to seasoned antitrust litigators—Venable has one of the largest association antitrust practices in the nation.