realMLS Antitrust Policy
To ensure that NEFMLS and its members comply with antitrust laws, the following principles will be observed:
- NEFMLS or any committee, section, chapter, or activity of NEFMLS shall not be used for the purpose of bringing about of attempting to bring about any understanding or agreement, written or oral, formal or informal, expressed, or implied, among two or more members or other competitors with regard to prices or terms and conditions of contracts for services or products.
- Therefore, discussions and exchanges of information about such topics will not be permitted at NEFMLS meetings or other activities.
- There will be no discussions discouraging or withholding patronage or services from, or encouraging exclusive dealing with any supplier or purchaser or group of suppliers or purchasers of products or services, any actual or potential competitors or any private or governmental entity.
- There will be no discussion about allocating or dividing geographic or service markets or customers.
- There will be no discussions about restricting, limiting, prohibiting, or sanctioning advertising or solicitation that is not false, misleading, deceptive, or directly competitive with NEFMLS products or services.
- There will be no discussions about discouraging entry into or competition in any segment of the marketplace.
- There will be no discussion about whether the practices of any member, actual or potential competitor, or other person are unethical or anti-competitive, unless the discussions or complaints follow the prescribed due process provisions of NEFMLS bylaws.
- Certain activities of NEFMLS and its members are deemed protected from antitrust laws under the First Amendment right to petition government. The antitrust exemption for these activities, referred to as the Noerr-Pennington Doctrine, protects ethical and proper actions or discussions by members designed to influence: 1) legislation at the national, state, or local level; 2) regulatory or policy-making activities (as opposed to commercial activities) of governmental body; or 3) decisions of judicial bodies. However, the exemption does not protect actions constituting a “sham” to cover anticompetitive conduct.
- Speakers at committees, educational meetings, or other business meetings of NEFMLS shall be informed that they must comply with NEFMLS’s antitrust policy in the preparation and presentation of their remarks. Meetings will follow a written agenda approved in advance by NEFMLS or Its legal counsel.
- Meetings will follow a written agenda. Minutes will be prepared after the meeting to provide a concise summary of important matters discussed and actions taken or conclusions reached.
At Informal discussions at the site of any NEFMLS meeting all participants are expected to observe the same standards of personal conduct as are required of NEFMLS in its compliance.
A potential conflict of Interest occurs when any related party (e.g. a company, a partnership, affiliates, management or members of immediate family) is in a position to profit directly or indirectly because of a position with NEFMLS.
A conflict can exist even if actions do not adversely affect NEFMLS. Instances in which there might be a conflict of interest include but are not limited to: (1) purchasing equipment, supplies, or services for NEFMLS, (2) purchasing, selling, or leasing property for NEFMLS, (3) loans or preferential investment opportunities using confidential information, (4) gifts and entertainment exceeding a de minims (insignificant) value. A given situation may or may not present a conflict of interest, depending upon the facts and circumstances.
Each member shall disclose in writing any situation that may present a possible conflict of interest to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall advise the member in writing as to whether or not a conflict exists and if not, authorize the members to proceed in the matter.
One may not give an unfair advantage to members of their immediate or extended family or to other related parties. If a related party offers the best products or service with the best value for NEFMLS, they may be used as a vendor. They should not receive any preferential treatment.
NEFMLS members, members of the Board of Directors and the Chief Executive Officer are responsible for reporting all actual and potential conflicts to the President of NEFMLS. The President is responsible for reporting all actual and potential conflicts to the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall then review possible violations of the conflict of interest policy and take action if any in accordance with the policy outlined in sections 7 and 9 of the NEFMLS Rules and Regulations.