Webb-Pomerene Association

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Webb-Pomerene Association

An association of exporters exempt from some of the provisions of the Sherman Antitrust Act. That is, a Webb-Pomerene Association may engage in acts that otherwise might be considered collusion in order to promote American trade abroad. However, they may not engage in importation or sales within the United States. They may not combine services; that is, they may only collude to export similar products. They derive their name from the Webb-Pomerene Act of 1918, which authorized their creation.
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The Webb-Pomerene Act continued in force after the Export Trading Company Act was passed, and new Webb-Pomerene Associations have been formed since 1982.
Firms belonging to both Webb-Pomerene Associations and ETCs
There are at least six cases in which Webb-Pomerene Associations and ETCs have shared at least one member in common.
Table 4 shows that Webb-Pomerene Associations have usually had much higher average levels of exports than have ETCs.
The 1978 FTC Report notes that 8 of 26 active Webb-Pomerene Associations (30%) responded affirmatively to the question on the FTC questionnaire asking whether the Association helps to establish price abroad.
Export Trading Companies and Webb-Pomerene Associations both offer their members limited antitrust immunity, but the two groups of organizations differ in several ways.
Webb-Pomerene associations may still be held to violate the EC antitrust laws, as in the Wood Pulp decision.
Export Trading Companies, the heir-apparent to Webb-Pomerene Associations.
Existing evidence concerning Webb-Pomerene Associations in practice
15) The two most exhaustive studies of Webb-Pomerene Associations, by the U.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I Wish to thank Leonard Weiss and my colleagues at Occidental College for their comments on earlier drafts of this article, Carl Hevener of the Federal Trade Commission for his assistance in accessing information on Webb-Pomerene Associations, and Stephen Gambee for his research assistance.
1) Initially, a Webb-Pomerene Association (WPA) had to serve as a foreign selling agent for its members in order to qualify for an exemption from domestic antitrust laws.