AICC AICC 40 Years


Frequently Asked Questions About AICC's FirstPak and JSEs

Q.  I've been working with other AICC members serving some of my customers for years, why all the fuss about this now?
A.  Increasing consolidation and global competition will mean that more and more corrugated users will be seeking to streamline their supply chains. In addition, changing distribution systems and patterns in the United States, Canada - indeed the entire North American continent - mean that corrugated users have more locations and will want to be served by one or two key suppliers. Recognizing these trends, AICC approached the Department of Justice to have these kind of joint supply relationships recognized and approved under the antitrust laws. This Business Review Letter and the accompanying FirstPak SM program are practical ways to help members preserve and expand their market share in a changing corrugated marketplace.

Q.  Does this mean that the selling arrangements I've had with other members are illegal?
A.  No. But as they're constructed they may not meet the requirements of the Department of Justice Business Review Letter and should be carefully reviewed by legal counsel well-versed in the provisions of the antitrust laws of the United States and Canada.

Q.  If I'm a lead member of a joint selling entity, and I'm doing all this legwork to determine pricing, win the business, identify suppliers in other areas and assure the customer's needs are met in all locations, can I also require my JSE members to sign a non-compete agreement for a certain period after completion of the order?
A.  No. The Business Review Letter from the Department of Justice (and the Canadian Bureau of Competition) specifically states that those who enter joint selling groups must be free to enter or leave at any time once their commitment is fulfilled.

Q.  If I'm a member of a joint selling entity (JSE), but I'm not the lead member, can I drop out at any time and bid on the local business myself?
A.  Yes. If you have fulfilled your contractual commitment for orders, you are free to quit the group at any time.

Q.  The DoJ Letter seems restricted in certain areas. Suppose I want to put together a different type of joint selling entity? Can I do it?
A.  Yes, it's possible to put together other kinds of joint selling entities. When putting these together, however, be sure to consult legal counsel which has knowledge of the antitrust laws.
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