Antitrust laws are designed to ensure free competition in the U.S. marketplace by regulating the ways in which companies conduct their business. Antitrust law prohibits practices that stifle free competition, such as monopolies, lockup agreements, certain types of mergers, and price-fixing.
Much of the antitrust law is found in the Sherman Act, which is a federal statute that prohibits "every contract, combination, or conspiracy in restraint of trade," and any "monopolization, attempted monopolization, or conspiracy or combination to monopolize."
However, the Supreme Court decided that the Sherman Act does not prohibit every restrain on trade, but only those that are unreasonable. Unreasonable restraints of trade include:
Antitrust laws are enforced through the government and the people. There are criminal and civil penalties for any violation of antitrust laws. Individuals that are found in violation of antitrust laws can face penalties such as fines, damage awards and even prison time. The government encourages private individuals to report and take action when they see an antitrust violation, which is why they allow individuals and companies to be able to bring suit. In addition, federal and state antitrust laws provide for triple damages.
Some examples of Anti-trust laws that are being violated are:
Antitrust law in the health care industry have only developed recently, within the past thirty years. Before the 1970s, antitrust laws were generally not applied to "learned professions" like medicine and law. During that time, however, health care expanded from a local profession to a national service. In 1975, the Supreme Court ruled that antitrust law is applicable to the practice of medicine, and other "learned professions."
An antitrust attorney will advise you on whether the business practice you are associated with complies with competition and trade regulation. In doing so, an attorney will undertake a broad range of different legal activities, including litigation, government investigation, merger advice, and counseling.
Last Modified: 01-25-2017 12:36 PM PSTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.