Antitrust law protects trade and commerce from the formation of illegal monopolies, biased commercial restraints, and price fixing. The Sherman Act and the Clayton Act are the federal laws governing antitrust and each state has its own antitrust statute. Not only can certain monopolies be illegal, they can cause hardship for consumers through price inflation and over-domination of a market. Illegal monopolies can also affect the businesses (and the people) that were bought out by the larger company by violating anti-trust laws.
Antitrust law requires that you move quickly to address an antitrust violation. Many times, antitrust conspiracies are intentionally concealed from observation. Therefore, when businesses finally confirm that they have been victimized by monopolistic behavior, it is too late to sue under the statute of limitation provisions of antitrust statutes. Although the ability of a layperson to comprehend the nuances and details of the vast area of antitrust and unfair trade practices is understandable, the law makes very few exceptions for the late filing of an antitrust complaint.
Federal and state antitrust laws prohibit following conduct:
- Unilateral Refusals to Deal
- Tying Arrangements
- Minimum Price Fixing
- Customer Restrictions
- Exclusive Territories and Exclusive Distributorships
- Exclusive Dealerships
- Agreements on Terms of Trade
- Full Line Pricing
- Discriminatory Prices or Terms of Sale
- Franchisee and Dealer Terminations
- Predatory Advertising
- Group Boycott
Some anti-trust violations a directed against one individual business rather than the market as a whole. Horizontal price-fixing, market allocation, and bid-rigging claims are almost always per se antitrust violations. A group boycott occurs when two or more persons or entities conspire to restrict the ability of someone from competing. A group boycott may lead to per se antitrust liability.
Group boycott activity is usually directed toward one or very few victims. The harm is concentrated and can destroy a small business. Group boycotts are often directed against a competitor that is trying to establish itself in a new market. Group boycott activity often occurs when someone new enters a market with a different or better idea or way of doing business. The current competitors—who like things just the way they are—band together to use their joint power to keep new competitor from stealing their customers.
This is a limited discussion of antitrust claims if you want to explore how you may recover for antitrust violations contact the Stoltmann Law Offices Commercial Litigation Group at 312-332-4200.Discuss Your Antitrust Dispute with a Chicago Attorney
If you are involved in a business dispute or other litigation, the Chicago lawyers at Stoltmann Law Offices Commercial Litigation Group can provide knowledgeable legal representation on a flat fee or contingent fee basis. We bill for value provided to clients rather than time spent. Our goal is efficiently winning your case rather than running up more billable hours. Call us at 312-332-4200 or contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We represent clients throughout Cook County, including in Evanston, Oak Lawn, and Oak Park, as well as in DuPage County cities such as Naperville and Lisle and Lake County including Highland Park, Waukegan and Lake Forest and handle select cases nationwide with a network of local counsel.