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Ethical Practices in the Marketplace

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Competition (antitrust) law

Competition laws (known in the United States as antitrust laws), generally prohibit agreements with competitors that unreasonably restrict competition, such as:

  • Fixing or controlling prices
  • Dividing or allocating customers, bids, markets or territories
  • Limiting the sale or production of products and services
  • Refusing to sell to particular customers or to buy from particular vendors
  • Sharing competitive information

Express agreements as well as informal understandings between competitors may constitute illegal agreements prohibited by antitrust laws.

CA Technologies Worldwide Antitrust/Competition Policy requires employees to be particularly careful not to engage in any conduct that could even give the appearance of an antitrust violation. Most importantly, in any contacts with competitors—for instance, at trade association meetings—you must not discuss pricing policy, contract terms, sales, costs, profits, product plans, production levels and capacity, or any other confidential information.

Other activities may also raise antitrust/competition law issues. Do not do any of the following without first consulting with and getting permission from a member of the Worldwide Law Department:

  • Engage in conduct that could appear to be intended to harm a competitor, rather than serve our customers better
  • Restrict the territories or customers to whom a distributor may resell CA Technologies products
  • Discuss joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions, joint buying, or other collaborative arrangements with competitors
  • Establish exclusive arrangements with vendors
  • Tie or bundle together different products or services (for example, contracts that require a buyer who wants one product to buy a second product)
  • Treat the Company’s resellers and partners in an unequal fashion by offering certain resellers more favorable terms and conditions or by referring an unequal amount of business to them

Application of competition law principles to particular business situations can be complex and challenging. If you are not sure how to handle an issue that arises or if you become aware of any possible violation of these laws you must immediately contact the Worldwide Law Department.

What would you do?

In a conversation at a recent trade association meeting a competitor’s representative said to me, "I wish we could do something about all those deep discounts—they’re bad for the industry." I didn’t reply.

Is this conversation a problem?

It could be.

If both CA Technologies and the competitor cut the discounts and, based on the conversation, it was assumed that you had agreed to fix prices with the competitor this could be an issue. If you find yourself present during a discussion with competitors about prices, costs, terms of sale or other sensitive matters, immediately break away from the discussion in a way that makes it clear you consider this improper, and promptly contact the Worldwide Law Department.

Sales, marketing and advertising

Maintaining high professional standards in sales, marketing and advertising is key to CA Technologies success in the marketplace. Among other things, these activities should be honest and appropriate in every respect, conducted on the basis of the superiority of CA Technologies products and services, and in accordance with applicable laws. Representations made in Company advertising, product packaging, marketing or sales materials must be accurate, substantiated and not misleading. Any comparisons to CA Technologies competitors must not be disparaging or untrue. We must avoid not only inaccurate statements but also omissions which make other statements misleading. All advertising and promotions must be reviewed in advance and approved in writing by both the Marketing Department and the Worldwide Law Department.

What would you do?

You are a channel sales representative. You are directing maintenance renewal contracts toward a select number of large-volume resellers that you get paid on and away from smaller incumbent resellers that you do not get paid on.

Is that okay?


Partners work hard to build their customer base and count on the annual annuity for these efforts. Directing renewals only to the partners you get paid on is playing favorites. If you are having a problem with a particular partner, you should contact your manager to alert them of the problem and let them decide the next steps, if any.

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