What Is Antitrust Law?

 Posted on November 22, 2019 in Fraud

Illionois defense attorney,  Illinois criminal defense lawyerAntitrust law is an umbrella term for a number of federal laws that are intended to keep businesses operating fairly and honestly. These laws regulate the way companies do business, leveling the playing field and ensuring no one business has too much power. Within antitrust law, a trust is considered a group of businesses that form together to create a monopoly or otherwise control the free market. Some of the most important pieces of legislation in the United State that outline antitrust laws are the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, the Interstate Commerce Act, the Interstate Commerce Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and the Clayton Act.

Antitrust Laws and Monopolies

It is true that antitrust laws prohibit companies from creating monopolies, which leave consumers without any choice and force them to purchase from one company or group of companies. However, these laws do not prevent companies from controlling a large share of the market, as long as they do so through honest and fair means. When determining whether or not a certain practice is unfair, the courts will use the rule of reason test. This test considers the effect of the business’ decisions on the market.

Who Enforces Antitrust Laws?

To enforce antitrust laws, federal agencies such as the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice file lawsuits against companies that are in violation of antitrust laws. When these lawsuits are filed and the courts find that a business is in violation of antitrust law, they may issue criminal or civil penalties to remedy the violation. Predatory pricing, for example, is a violation of antitrust law that is considered a federal crime.

Violations of antitrust laws are considered federal crimes in many cases and when they are, those found to be in violation can face serious jail time. In most cases, the court will also issue an injunction to stop the company from engaging in similar behaviors in the future.

It is not only federal agencies that can file lawsuits when companies are in violation of antitrust laws. Private citizens and other businesses can also file a lawsuit with the appropriate court.

The Controversy of Antitrust Laws

Antitrust laws are quite controversial. Supporters say that they are necessary to keep the market fair and equal. However, they also prevent companies from competing, which means higher costs for consumers. They have also broken up some of the largest companies in America, which others say is also unfair and hurts consumers.

Accused of Violating Antitrust Laws? Call Our Illinois Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer

At the Law Offices of Hal M. Garfinkel, our skilled Chicago federal criminal defense lawyer knows that antitrust laws are unfair and hurt consumers. If you are facing federal charges for violating antitrust laws, we can build you an effective defense so your business can continue to operate as it always has and see continued success. If you have been accused of violating antitrust laws, call us today at 312-629-0669 for your free consultation so we can get started on your case.


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