Antitrust laws are designed to protect consumers from unfair business practices. These laws also promote competition by preventing companies from abusing their market power. Unfortunately, some companies still violate antitrust laws, leading to higher prices, reduced choice, and reduced innovation. Here are the top three antitrust violations among companies and businesses and how antitrust lawyers can help.
The 3 Most Common Antitrust Violations Committed By Companies and Businesses
Price fixing is any agreement between businesses to control the price of their products or services. This is illegal because it eliminates competition and can lead to higher consumer prices.
People tend to assume that the prices of products and services are based on supply and demand, not on agreements among competitors. Generally, antitrust laws require that companies set prices independently of competitors. Competition creates downward pressure on prices.
Competing companies that agree among themselves about the prices or wages they will pay are also engaging in price fixing. The government takes price fixing very seriously, and people or companies that engage in it can be prosecuted.
Market Allocation Agreements
When competitors divide a market in which they can compete into sections, relinquishing some areas while claiming others for themselves, they enter a market-allocation agreement.
A market-allocation agreement is an anti-competitive strategy in which a group of customers experiences a reduction in the number of suppliers that serve them. Because of this imbalance in market share, companies that dominate particular markets can charge more for their products or lower the quality.
Monopolistic schemes occur when companies or businesses engage in activities intended to create or maintain a monopoly in a particular market. This is illegal because it eliminates competition and can lead to higher consumer prices. Examples of monopolistic schemes include using predatory pricing, engaging in mergers and acquisitions that create a dominant market position, and using exclusive contracts.
What Can Antitrust Lawyers Do for you?
Legal issues can arise when businesses grow and become more competitive. Hire an antitrust lawyer to advise your business on deals like distribution agreements, joint ventures, or mergers to avoid future legal trouble.
An antitrust lawyer can represent you in civil actions against your business for violating the antitrust laws.
Has an illegal business practice violated any of your rights? If so, civil litigation lawyer specializing in antitrust laws can help you sue those who have hurt you or represent a group of people with similar grievances.
- You’re at the mercy of a monopolist who keeps your business from thriving.
- You’re a consumer paying more for goods and services because one company has set unreasonably high prices.
It is difficult to prove antitrust violations—you have to show that one company has tried to run out all the others in a particular market.
The best antitrust lawyers will have experience with antitrust cases and know how to prove violations. Because such cases are difficult to win, your lawyer should be able to advise you whether the case is worth pursuing.