What is Antitrust Law?
Antitrust Attorneys Fighting for People, Businesses Harmed by Anticompetitive Practices
Antitrust laws help protect people and companies from a number of unfair business practices that stifle competition in the marketplace. At Glancy Prongay & Murray, our antitrust attorneys help companies and consumers exercise their rights under the law by seeking compensation for the financial damage caused by antitrust violations. Our lawyers recovered $182 million in settlement money for clients in antitrust and other cases in 2018 alone.
We have been representing clients in antitrust disputes for more than three decades. That gives us important insight into how judges and juries look at these cases and a unique understanding of how to resolve disputes without a long, drawn-out court battle.
Our firm and our antitrust attorneys are often cited for the comprehensive legal services that we provide for the people and businesses that we represent. We have received a number of judicial accolades in which judges have stressed the value that we provide to our clients.
Antitrust Laws Foster Competition
The goal of antitrust law is to ensure competition, not necessarily to protect certain competitors.
In other words, lawmakers understood the value of allowing businesses to compete for customers via price, quality and value. They passed certain laws designed to foster that competition by prohibiting activities that limit it.
Federal laws target two areas: anticompetitive behavior and price discrimination. Seasoned antitrust attorneys use the laws as tools to help clients who have been injured as a result of antitrust violations.
The Sherman Act, which was initially passed into law in 1890, is a cornerstone of antitrust law in the United States today.
Although the law authorizes the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to enforce it, individuals and businesses injured as a result of Sherman Act violations can also pursue lawsuits against those responsible. That includes allowing groups of businesses or consumers to join together in a class action.
The law bans certain actions that restrain trade in a way that is unreasonable.
Price fixing is a common Sherman Act violation, in which one or more businesses get together and agree on where to set, raise or maintain the prices of their goods or services. Price fixing comes in a wide variety of actions, from agreeing to freeze prices to plotting to eliminate certain discounts.
These deals harm competition—and, in turn, consumers and businesses not involved in the agreement—by removing market factors like consumer demand from the equation. They often result in consumers paying a higher price than they would otherwise, but can also be used to simply put certain companies out of businesses by sending their customers elsewhere.
Bid rigging is another common Sherman Act violation. It occurs when one or more businesses manipulates the process for bidding on government and other contracts.
Sometimes, multiple bidders will coordinate their bids in a way that is designed to ensure that a specific company wins the specific contract. The same companies may later do the same thing to ensure that a separate contract goes to another company in the group. That kind of activity is anticompetitive because the contract may be awarded to the favored bidder without the benefits of having bidders truly compete over price, quality and value.
Our antitrust attorneys have decades of combined experience going after companies that engage in price fixing, bid rigging and other schemes that hurt businesses and consumers alike.
The Sherman act also outlaws a number of other anticompetitive practices, including efforts to monopolize a market or to use existing monopoly power. Companies with monopoly power are prohibited from using it to block market access or engage in predatory pricing activities, among other behavior.
One of the key issues in these cases is how to define a particular market. By defining a market, a person or business complaining of anticompetitive behavior can show why it is unlawful, gauge the impact and depict the harm caused.
The Clayton Act is a separate federal law designed to prevent certain activities that could give a business monopoly power. Although it focuses largely on mergers and acquisitions, the law also bans anticompetitive activities, like bundling arrangements that force people or businesses to buy products or services that they don’t want in order to get the products or services that they want. The law similarly prohibits arrangements that require buyers in a supply chain to deal exclusively with one company.
At Glancy Prongay & Murray, we have successfully represented individuals and businesses Sherman Act cases across a wide range of industries. Our antitrust attorneys build the strongest possible case for our clients, including by providing a thorough analysis of the particular market at issue and the harm caused by antitrust violations.
Class Actions Managed By Antitrust Attorneys
People and businesses who have been harmed by antitrust violations have the right to seek compensation and a court order stopping the activity from continuing. But sometimes the idea of taking on a big company in a legal battle can be daunting.
Fortunately, antitrust class actions are an effective legal tool in these situations. Class actions are a type of lawsuit in which a group of people or entities who have been harmed by the same antitrust violations combine their claims into a single legal action. The class action option lets people and businesses with relatively smaller claims pool the costs of pursuing a lawsuit. It also allows them to leverage their claims in an effort to get antitrust law violators to come to the bargaining table.
We take most of our class action cases on a contingency fee basis. That means we only get paid if we win the case at trial or through a negotiated settlement.
How Our Antitrust Attorneys Can Help You
If you are considering legal action against a businesses engaged in anticompetitive activity, the antitrust attorneys at Glancy Prongay & Murray can help. We guide clients through the legal process with experience and personal attention.
Our firm has been representing people in antitrust and other similar cases for more than 25 years. We have a strong track record of success in these cases. Call us at (310) 201-9150 or contact us online to speak with an antitrust lawyer today.