Antitrust regulations are based on the principle that fair markets are vital for American innovation and prosperity to continue. However, antitrust laws should not be used to punish large companies solely on account of their size or because of their commercial success. If your company has been accused of monopolization, restraints of trade, or another antitrust violation, Stone LLP can help.
Monopolization is a severe antitrust violation. A monopoly alone is not unlawful, but it’s a serious violation to attempt to obtain monopoly power through anticompetitive means. This is codified in Section 2 of the Sherman Act.
The presence of monopoly power is established through direct evidence such as the ability to impose supracompetitive prices or market research indicating that one company has the largest dominant percentage of sales of specific products or services and that the ability of others to enter the market is limited by significant barriers. Monopolization that forms an antitrust violation occurs when a company’s monopoly power is acquired via anticompetitive practices that undermine rivals and hinder their ability to compete fairly.
Attempted monopolization or conspiracies to monopolize are also antitrust violations, even if a company is not successful in its efforts to acquire a monopoly.
Restraints of Trade
Restraints of trade involve two or more independent and unaffiliated companies working together to harm competitive practices in a defined market. Horizontal price-fixing—when two or more competitors set or manipulate the prices customers are being charged—is one example that’s referred to as a per se offense. Another example of an offense that’s unlawful per se is when a company engages in price-fixing in a highly concentrated market.
Restraints of trade can be antitrust violations under the rules of reason if practices cause more harm to competition by suppressing or restricting rivalries that would normally result in lower prices or better products than they do in fulfilling legitimate commercial aims.
The Clayton Act, enacted in 1914 as an amendment to the Sherman Act, is the federal law that deals with restraints of trade.
How Stone LLP Can Help
Antitrust law is incredibly complex. If your company is facing charges of monopolization, restraints of trade, or another antitrust violation, you need legal assistance from a firm that has handled this type of civil claim for plaintiffs and defendants through trial and appeal. The business law attorneys at Stone LLP can handle federal antitrust issues as well as concerns associated with California’s unique antitrust and unfair competition laws. Call our office or fill out our contact form to learn how we can help you litigate disputes from a position of strength.