The antitrust laws prohibit certain anticompetitive practices by businesses. These practices include conspiracies to restraint trade and monopolization. The U.S. Supreme Court has described the antitrust laws as the “Magna Carta of free enterprise . . . [and] as important to the preservation of economic freedom and our free-enterprise system as the Bill of Rights is to the protection of our fundamental personal freedoms.”
Antitrust violations include:
- An agreement by two or more competitors to fix the prices they charge for a product or service;
- An agreement not to compete for each other’s customers or business;
- A company’s unfair use of its monopoly power over a product or service;
- A company’s attempt to obtain monopoly power over a product or service; and
- Discriminatory pricing for a product sold in interstate commerce.
The antitrust laws permit people or businesses suffering antitrust injuries to recover three times their actual damages. The court can also enjoin defendants from continuing their unlawful behavior and order them to pay the victims’ reasonable legal expenses, including attorneys’ fees.