Antitrust laws relate to unlawful mergers and business practices. All antitrust legislation has the same goal, which is to protect the process of competition for the consumers’ benefit while ensuring that there are strong incentives for businesses to operate. These laws are in effect to keep prices of goods down while keeping the quality of the products up in the marketplace.
Antitrust litigation encompasses a wide variety of subject matters. The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have the jurisdiction to investigate and bring actions for violations of U.S. antitrust laws. State attorney generals also enforce state antitrust laws in their jurisdictions.
These government actions monitor the actions of businesses participating in potentially illegal business arrangements, including agreements in which two companies agree to merge or otherwise combine business operations, monopolization claims, fixing prices, and unfair competition. Government agencies can seek injunctions, significant fines, and damages, or incarceration for those individuals and corporations that are involved.
The main statutes of the antitrust laws are the Sherman Act, the Clayton Act, and the Federal Trade Commission Act. These acts outline the types of business practices that are considered illegal in the United States.
The Sherman Act prohibits “every contract, combination, or conspiracy in restraint of trade,” and any “monopolization, attempted monopolization, or conspiracy or combination to monopolize.” This act covers illegal business arrangements among competing individuals or businesses to fix prices, rig bidding, or divide markets.
The Clayton Act addresses specific practices that the Sherman Act does not, such as mergers and interlocking directorates. This act also bans discriminatory services and prices in dealings between businesses. It permits private parties to sue for damages when they have been harmed by conduct that violates either the Sherman or Clayton Act. It also prohibits the anticompetitive practice for businesses in the future.
The Federal Trade Commission Act outlaws “unfair methods of competition” and “unfair or deceptive acts or practices.” These methods of competition include deceptive advertising and pricing on the part of corporations.
Our attorneys litigate a wide variety of antitrust cases including:
Our firm handles hearings, trials, and appeals in federal and state courts in the United States. We represent clients in litigation with the U.S. Government, as well as with private parties in the United States and Puerto Rico. Our attorneys understand and have handled the litigation aspects of enforcement by the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state agencies.
We have assisted clients across all industries in handling antitrust claims at the summary disposition, trial and appeal levels, including private and public damages, class actions, merger defense, competitor actions, and monopolization. The attorneys at Hach Rose Schirripa & Cheverie LLP have over 75 years combined experience in dealing with complex litigation regarding antitrust laws, so contact us at (212) 213-8311 today.