Many businesses of all types are frequently
confronted with problems arising under the antitrust laws, which play a vital role
in ensuring that our economy continues to be based on competition rather than
collusion. The fundamental premises of the antitrust laws are two: (1) the American
economic system does best when business enterprises are free to compete among
themselves; and (2) interference with the pricing system is almost always presumptively
unlawful because it distorts the free market forces that adjust supply to demand
through competitive pricing. However, large companies do not always find it in their
interest to abide by these rules, and in the process may inflict considerable damage
on their competitive rivals.
Thus, practices such as geographic division among
competitors, cartels, agreements to fix or stabilize the price of goods or services, and
conditioning the sale of one item on the purchaser's agreement to buy another are,
depending on the exact circumstances, unlawful under current antitrust law. Moreover,
a monopolist -- i.e., an enterprise that dominates and controls a specific market -- is prohibited
from engaging in conduct (such as market exclusion) to the detriment of its smaller
competitors because the law disfavors the aggregation of monopoly power.
The firm's clients regularly benefit from the expertise
of the firm's attorneys in this
area of the law. We frequently counsel business enterprises that are injured by these and cognate
practices, and where appropriate bring suit under the antitrust laws to halt the violative conduct and to
recover damages sustained thereby. For example, a victim of a price-fixing conspiracy may recover
the difference in price between what it paid and what it should have paid for the product.
(As an added bonus, damages in this sort of case are tripled under federal law.) A company unfairly
excluded from a market may recover the profits on the sales it would have made absent
defendant's unlawful conduct. The firm's lawyers also regularly advise its clients on conduct
that might violate the antitrust laws, to the end of avoiding entanglement in costly and
time-consuming antitrust litigation, while working with them to accomplish their business goals
through conduct that will not be challenged under the antitrust laws.
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