Legal Compliance

Legal Compliance - Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct

Guide for events

In all A3PS events we are careful to work in accordance with the law, in particular with regard to antitrust law aspects. This Code of Conduct applies to representatives of the A3PS members, the staff of the A3PS office and external service providers.

The purpose of the work of the A3PS and the A3PS events[1] is to establish viable innovation networks and platforms for pre-competitive cooperation, exchange of information between members and technology policy as well as the coordination of common positions of the members (towards the public, technology policy, other platforms etc.). Research institutions and companies benefit from the intensive exchange and cooperation.

It cannot be ruled out that companies, organisations and associations participating in A3PS events are in competition. Consequently, activities in A3PS events and in their environment must not create opportunities to discuss topics not permitted under antitrust law. Antitrust rules must be observed without exception. In case of doubt, information from legal experts must be obtained.

Explanatory examples of inadmissible exchange of information are given below:
  • Activities prohibited by antitrust law must be avoided, including explicit agreements or resolutions as well as concerted practices, i.e. any form of coordination that substitutes practical cooperation for risky competition.
  • "Sensitive" information, which is usually kept secret, may not be exchanged or disclosed to member companies, third parties or the public. This concerns, for example, strategic information, intended market behaviour, sensitive data such as capacity utilisation, delivery quantities, offers, costs, benchmarks, contractual conditions, etc.
  • Agreements on prices and price-relevant factors or terms of contracts, on market shares, quotas or allocation of markets, agreements on capacities or specialisation (production programmes) as well as on bids in tenders or even preliminary talks on participation in tenders are to be omitted.
  • Recognition or membership of A3PS must not be a selection criterion for the commissioning of suppliers or service providers.

Obligations and conduct of meeting participants and chairs

All participants in the meetings must ensure that there are no violations of (antitrust) regulations.

At the beginning of a meeting, the chair of the meeting shall draw attention to compliance with the legal regulations. A suitable information slide is available as a presentation[2] and a corresponding clause is included on the lists of participants.

Should a violation of antitrust regulations occur during a meeting, the chair of the meeting must draw the participants' attention to this inadmissibility and insist on ending the critical activities.

In all statements (written or oral), care must be taken not to create the impression to disregard antitrust law in any way.

[1] The term A3PS events refers to activities which are carried out by A3PS or on behalf of A3PS or for which A3PS bears the financial risk or holds copyrights, such as general meetings, meetings and discussions of working groups, conferences, conferences, excursions organised by A3PS for members, workshops.
[2] The document "A3PS_ComplianceCode_Sitzungshinweis" is available as .pdf and .ppt.