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When Can Business Litigation Address Anti-Competitive Practices?

Posted on in Business Law

Illinois business litigation lawyer

The free market is based on healthy competition, and businesses can succeed by competing with each other to provide quality goods and services to consumers at the best prices. However, there are many cases where companies may attempt to unfairly influence the market and increase their profits by discouraging or eliminating competition. If a company has suffered harm because of another company’s anti-competitive practices, it may be able to pursue business litigation to address this issue.

Antitrust Lawsuits

Cases that address unfair practices meant to reduce competition are known as antitrust cases, and they may be filed in response to issues such as:

  • Price-fixing - Multiple companies may create agreements to sell products or services at a specific price or within a certain price range. This can be harmful for consumers, since it will usually result in higher prices and restrict people’s ability to seek out the best value. Agreements between competitors to restrict production are also illegal, since they are attempts to unfairly influence the market.

  • Bid-rigging - When bids are solicited from multiple companies, collusion between bidders can undermine the bidding process. Illegal actions in these cases may include agreements that one company will be the low bidder or that a company will sit out the bidding process in certain cases.

  • Market division or other agreements between competitors - Competitors cannot create agreements not to compete in certain markets or not to sell to certain customers. Other types of agreements may also be illegal, such as agreements to restrict advertisements.

  • Exclusive purchase or supply agreements - A company may attempt to limit competition by forcing vendors or suppliers to deal exclusively with them, preventing competitors from being able to operate in the same market.

  • Predatory pricing - While a company may offer discounts and price products and services competitively, below-cost pricing cannot be used for the purpose of driving competitors out of the market so that prices can be increased later.

  • Forced buying - While products or services can be packaged together, this cannot be done in a way that restricts competition. For example, a company that is the primary provider of a certain product cannot tie this product to other products or services in order to force consumers to choose them over competitors who provide similar products or services.

The laws in the state of Florida prohibit attempts to create a monopoly or restrain commerce. A company that violates these laws may face civil fines of up to $100,000. In addition, if a company suffered losses because of a competitor’s violation of these laws, the company can recover three times the amount of these damages.

Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Antitrust Litigation Attorneys

If you believe that a competitor has acted illegally in an attempt to restrict competition and harm your business, The Elliot Legal Group, P.A. can help you determine your legal options. We will provide you with legal representation in these matters and work to ensure that you will be able to remain competitive in the marketplace and recover compensation for the losses you have suffered. Contact our Wilton Manors business litigation lawyers at 754-332-2101 to set up a confidential consultation.

Sources:

https://www.ftc.gov/enforcement/anticompetitive-practices

 

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0500-0599/0542/0542.html

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