The anti-trust law is a combination of laws governed by both state and federal statutes prohibiting business practices giving an unfair advantage or a monopoly in the market arena. The anti-trust laws assist in protecting consumers from being forced to pay inflated prices for products, and/or services.
The list below describes some anti-trust violations:
- Monopolies – a monopoly occurs only when one business has an unfair advantage over another business in that one business is offering a potential customer certain perks for doing business exclusively with them, thereby excluding any competitor from participating in a contractual agreement. There are exceptions if there is a “natural monopoly.” A “natural monopoly” occurs when a product or service is so unique that they are the only ones established in that particular line of business, therefore, no other business is competing with them.
- Horizontal arrangements with competitors – whereby competitors in a business, or service, attempt to monopolize the market arena, and are intentionally attempting to prevent other businesses from competing in any business agreements.
- Group boycott – group boycotts prohibit freedom of trade and are considered illegal.
- Joint ventures – are only considered illegal and in violation of anti-trust laws when they exclude other like businesses from participating; especially when the joint venture outnumbers the businesses that have been excluded.
- Market division – is an antitrust violation when an attempt is made to eliminate or restrain business competition.
- Price fixing – price fixing occurs when business competitors agree to establish a specific and uniform price, or pricing within a certain range, leaving consumers with fewer options.
- Tying – is only considered a violation when three factors are met and include requiring the purchase of a service or product in order to obtain another service or product, restriction of interstate commerce, and a business having the financial means to restrict the tied product from being sold by other businesses.
Contact Shaw Cowart lawyers in Austin, TX today to discuss how our team of anti-trust lawyers can assist your business, large or small in preventing anti-trust violations.