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2007

ED IT ION

Unfair Competition

Although the free enterprise system is based upon competition, rules have been imposed stating what can and what cannot be done in a competitive environment. The following practices are violations of the Code of Conduct and can lead to liability for "unfair competition":

  • False disparagement of competitors;

  • Illegal or deceptive disruption of a competitor's business; and

  • Misrepresentations of the Company’s prices or products.

Antitrust Concerns

Federal and state antitrust laws are intended to preserve the free enterprise system by ensuring that competition is the primary regulator of the economy. Every corporate decision that involves business planning with respect to output, sales and pricing raises antitrust issues. Compliance with the antitrust laws is in the public interest, in the interest of the business community at large, and in the Company's interest.

A primary focus of antitrust laws is on dealings between competitors as to pricing, bidding, production, supply and customer practices. These laws also apply to unfair practices that may create a monopoly. In all instances in which you have a question or doubt about a particular practice or activity you should contact the Compliance Officer.

Government Relations

All employees must adhere to the highest standards of ethical conduct in all relationships with government employees and must not improperly attempt to influence the actions of any public official.

The federal government and many state and local governments have adopted comprehensive laws and regulations governing their purchases of products from private contractors. These laws and regulations are intended to assure that governmental entities receive pricing, terms, and conditions equivalent to those granted to a company's most favored commercial customers and that there is full and open competition in contracting.

When selling products to government procurement agencies, the Company is accountable for complying with all applicable procurement laws, regulations, and requirements.

Payments or gifts shall not be made directly or indirectly to any government official or associate if the gift or payment is not in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations, or if it is for the purpose of influencing or inducing the recipient's decision making. Under no circumstances should gifts be given to employees of any state or the federal government.

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