Antitrust Violations – Federal Crimes & Consequences

Get Legal Help Today

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Antitrust violations are behaviors that violate United States antitrust laws, which were designed to prevent behavior that stifles business competition and eliminate unfair business practices. These laws, which were developed in response to the growth of big business at the end of the 19th century, are associated with tenets of consumer protection and the open market.

Notable United States antitrust laws include the Sherman Antitrust Act (15 U.S.C. §1-7), which outlawed conspiracies that restrain interstate or foreign commerce, and the Clayton Antitrust Act (15 U.S.C. § 12-27), which outlawed monopolies and anti-competitive agreements. However, some groups and activities are exempt from antitrust laws: these include labor unions, public utilities, hospitals, public transit and water systems, and suppliers of military equipment.

Antitrust crimes can include predatory pricing (in which a firm sets an extremely low price for their product in order to prevent new suppliers from entering the market or drive their competitors out of business), tying (in which the purchase of one product is conditional on the sale of another), and price fixing (in which competitors make agreements regarding the pricing of their products).

In the United States, the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice regulate and enforce antitrust legislation. State attorneys general can enforce both federal and state antitrust laws. Penalties for antitrust violations range from minor fines to maximum criminal penalties of ten years’ imprisonment and a $1 million fine for individuals. However, some violators of antitrust laws do not face criminal prosecution. Rather, they face proceedings in civil court under the “rule of reason” standard, which attempts to determine the possible worthiness of anti-competitive conduct. This does not apply to bid rigging, price fixing, or market allocation schemes, which have been deemed “per se” illegal by the United States Supreme Court.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption