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Competing Fairly

People with Purpose

Deliver superior performance on the strength of our products and people—never through unfair competitive practices.

The marketplaces in which we function require free and fair competition to operate properly. Without it, consumers cannot determine which products and services are right for them. That's why governments make laws promoting fair competition (known as "antitrust laws" in the U.S. and "competition laws" elsewhere). They prohibit activities that restrain competition, create monopolies, abuse market positions or distort the marketplace. We follow these laws wherever we do business, not simply to avoid legal liability and significant fines but because it's the right thing to do for our customers, our communities and other stakeholders. Our core values of honesty, caring and integrity demand it.

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Purpose in Practice

Competing fairly means we:

  • Achieve competitive advantages through superior performance and not through unethical or illegal business practices
  • Do not boycott specific suppliers or customers
  • Never discuss, make or appear to make improper agreements with, or collude with, competitors about:
    • Markets
    • Territories
    • Pricing
    • Contracts
    • Bids or quotes
    • Customers
    • Costs
  • Avoid any activity that might unfairly limit competition, distort the free market or appear to abuse a dominant market position

Competition laws are complex and vary by location. Even the appearance of an improper agreement can be a big problem. If you suspect you're at risk of violating these laws, contact your manager, the appropriate corporate legal contact or Human Resources. To learn more, see your Antitrust Compliance Policy.


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leadership in action

I was in a group conversation while between seminars at a recent industry conference. The conversation turned to the states we do business in and what we were doing about some of the problem areas. One person asked me if any of our companies were considering not doing business in a certain geographical area. Is this type of conversation with other companies in the industry permissible under our Code?

No, it is not permissible under our Code. Given the scope of antitrust laws, we want to avoid even the appearance of improper agreements, and continuing the conversation might mean running that risk. It’s best to politely exit whenever conversations turn toward subjects protected by antitrust or competition laws.

ECC Monitor: OK