Jeff Glassie on Prices and Antitrust Law: Where’s the Line? | Re:co Symposium 2019

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Today, we’re very happy to present the third episode of “Macroeconomic Dysfunction in the Coffee Trade,” a session recorded at Re:co Symposium this past April. This session convened experts to understand the functions and challenges of the coffee system responsible for the volatile shifts in the coffee market. If you haven’t watched the previous episodes in this series, we strongly recommend going back to view them before you continue with this episode. 

There is a lot of discussion about coffee markets these days, and a desire to discuss both the micro- and macro-economic implications. However, antitrust laws impose significant liability for impermissible agreements on prices, boycotts, or allocations of markets. Today’s speaker, Jeff Glassie, is an attorney for trade and professional membership associations, which have to regularly deal with the antitrust laws. Here, he addresses legal concepts to help guide actions and conversations that are important for the industry with the goal of avoiding illegal conduct and ensuring pro-competitive action.

Special Thanks to Toddy 

This talk from Re:co Boston is supported by Toddy. For over 50 years, Toddy brand cold brew systems have delighted baristas, food critics, and regular folks alike. By extracting all the natural and delicious flavors of coffee and tea, Toddy Cold Brew Systems turn your favorite coffee beans and tea leaves into fresh cold brew concentrates, that are ready to serve and enjoy. Learn more about Toddy at

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Table of Contents

0:00 Introduction
2:20 The US has anti-trust laws to protect the free market system.
8:30 Groups of businesses can potentially violate anti-trust laws in three main ways: price fixing, boycotting other businesses and allocating markets between themselves.
12:20 How do you define an anti-trust violating agreement from a legal perspective?
17:15 Ways the specialty coffee industry can handle the conversation around prices without violating anti-trust laws
21:00 Outro