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Competition is the engine of the U.S. economy. When firms compete for customers, they lower prices, invent new products, and provide greater value to the public. Antitrust law exists to prevent unfair, anticompetitive conduct.

At Saltz Mongeluzzi Bendesky P.C., we can bring antitrust class actions on behalf of injured consumers to fight anticompetitive behavior. By joining a class action, you increase the odds that a defendant takes your claim seriously and possibly agrees to a settlement, making litigation unnecessary. Contact our firm today to discuss available legal options. An antitrust class action attorney can review.

What Are Examples of Anticompetitive Conduct? 

Anticompetitive conduct reduces supply and increases prices. It also obstructs new companies from entering the market. Some examples of anticompetitive conduct include:

  • Monopolization. A monopoly is a grave risk to competition. Essentially, one company dominates the market, driving out any rivals. The remaining firm has a free hand to set prices too high or reduce the supply of goods. Monopolies sometimes arise naturally, such as when a company has the sole patent to manufacture a product. A monopoly is only illegal when the result of an unreasonable activity.
  • Price fixing. Competitors who agree to set prices for goods and services instead of competing on price have violated antitrust law.
  • Market division. This type of anticompetitive conduct when businesses divide territories or customers between themselves. Consumers often end up with fewer services at higher prices due to market division.
  • Group boycott. Businesses sometimes conspire to refuse to deal with another business, such as a discount retailer, to keep prices for their goods high. This type of agreement is anticompetitive and harms consumers.
  • Bid rigging. Companies who bid for contracts might coordinate their bids. One example involves all bidders colluding to each submit an inflated bid, which makes the winning bid seem “reasonable” by comparison. Other examples involve competitors creating a joint venture to submit a bid.
  • Tying or bundling. “Tying” is a business practice where a company makes buying a product or service conditional on buying a second good or service. The products/services are “bundled” together, whether the consumer wants to buy both together or not. Tying is anticompetitive if unreasonable.

Antitrust Laws

Various state and federal statutes make up what we think of as “antitrust law.” Our lawyers are familiar with all the major laws, including:

The Sherman Act

This was the first antitrust law passed by Congress in 1890. The Sherman Act prohibits combinations, contracts, and conspiracies to restrain trade. It also prohibits monopolization and conspiracy or combination to monopolize. The Supreme Court has interpreted The Sherman Act to prohibit only unreasonable restraints.

The Sherman Act imposes severe criminal and civil penalties. Individuals convicted can face criminal penalties and up to 10 years in prison.

The Clayton Act

Congress passed this law to prohibit conduct not outlawed by the Sherman Act, including certain mergers and acquisitions that substantially lessen competition or create a monopoly. The law also prohibits discriminatory prices and services in merchant dealings.

Private citizens can sue under the Clayton Act for triple damages. A court can also issue an injunction to stop anticompetitive behavior.

The Federal Trade Commission Act

This federal law prohibits unfair methods of competition, along with deceptive/unfair acts or practices. The Federal Trade Commission enforces the law. Some anticompetitive behavior is prohibited by the Federal Trade Commission Act but not the Sherman Act.

State Laws

Many states have also passed laws prohibiting certain anticompetitive practices. For example, 62 Pa. Consolidated Statutes § 562 defines collusion among bidders as unlawful and prohibits every conspiracy, combination, or contract in restraint of trade.

Why Antitrust Litigation & Class Actions?

Every injured consumer has a legal right to go to court and seek justice. However, the harm you have suffered might only be worth a few dollars. This is often not enough for an individual consumer to file a lawsuit, which can take months. The filing fee alone might be worth more than your claim. Further, it’s hard to find an experienced antitrust litigation attorney to represent you, since the cost of litigation will exceed the amount you could receive.

A class action is a way for injured victims to join together and multiply the dollar value of their claims. It is easier to obtain the help of an antitrust litigation lawyer when more money is at stake. A defendant is also more likely to take a claim seriously when facing a class action because they could lose millions of dollars. Antitrust class actions have forced industries to change their practices.

Class actions are regulated under federal or state rules of civil procedure. An antitrust litigation & class action lawyer knows how to build a legal case the correct way. Certain victims—called the “representative parties”—will be in control of the litigation. But the litigation seeks to benefit all members of the class, from coast to coast. Because we often sue large corporations, our class members might live anywhere from Alaska to Atlanta.

Generally, you can only bring a class action in federal court if:

  • There are questions of law or fact common to the members of the class;
  • The class is so large that joinder is impracticable;
  • Representative parties have claims that are typical of the class;
  • The representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the class.

No Risk to You

An antitrust litigation & class action attorney at Saltz Mongeluzzi Bendesky P.C. represents injured consumers on a contingency fee basis. This reduces the risk to you. We will do all the heavy lifting, and you never need to pay upfront legal fees. Instead, we agree to accept a percentage of any settlement or court award for our services. Even better: our consultations are no risk and no obligation. Contact us today to speak with an antitrust class action lawyer.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Washington Class Action Lawyer Today

The Firm to Call for Antitrust Litigation & Class Actions

In this difficult economy, businesses seeking an edge unfortunately turn to anticompetitive behavior. They fix prices, rig bids, and collude in other illegal behavior. You can protect yourself and the larger economy by reaching out to Saltz Mongeluzzi Bendesky, P.C. to discuss your case.