Association Membership and Program Restrictions and the Antitrust Laws: Don’t Stumble Out of the Gate

Trade and professional associations benefit society by promoting various industries, professions, and other interests. To realize their goals, however, associations must sometimes limit membership in the association or association-sponsored programs. A recent court decision, Abraham v. American Quarter Horse Association, No. 2:12-cv-00103-J (E.D. Tex.), highlights how association restrictions can sometimes run afoul of the antitrust laws, especially where the restrictions are intended to, or have the effect of, foreclosing a competitor’s ability to compete in the market. In this regard, the case shines a light on the tightrope that associations walk when trying to balance membership and programmatic needs against the limits imposed by the antitrust laws.

This article provides a brief overview of the case, followed by suggested best practices for associations to minimize the antitrust risk of membership and program restrictions.

Please see full article below for more information.

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Published In: Antitrust & Trade Regulation Updates, Art, Entertainment & Sports Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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