Recently, the codes of ethics of two separate trade organizations came under particular scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission. The commission required the Music Teachers National Association and the California Association of Legal Support Professionals to amend their respective codes to eliminate provisions that limited competition among their members and could therefore result in higher costs, less quality, and fewer choices for consumers.

These provisions included a prohibition against soliciting clients from other members and restricting members from engaging in price competition; disparaging one another in advertising; or recruiting other members’ employees for hiring purposes.

Sound familiar? That’s because the Realtor code of ethics has somewhat similar provisions. But John Reilly, director of online network and training company RealTown, says that the code is carefully reviewed annually by practitioners and attorneys experienced with the FTC philosophy on antitrust.

“A lot more care was made in drafting the (National Association of Realtors) code of ethics provisions than those found in the music teachers and paralegal associations. Will it be enough to stand up to FTC scrutiny?” he said.

“My answer is YES. What do you think?”

Source: The Data Advocate

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