Antitrust and Trade Regulation
- Antitrust Law is the body of law designed to protect trade and commerce from unfair restraints, monopolies and price-fixing. Antitrust law is primarily governed by two federal laws: the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act.
- Most states have antitrust laws patterned on the federal laws.
- Civil and criminal penalties may apply if a company is determined to be in violation of antitrust laws. Criminal acts are punishable by large fines and/or imprisonment. The Department of Justice (DOJ) investigates antitrust matters and is authorized to convene a grand jury. Civil remedies include injunctions, divestiture and/or cancellation of contracts.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the agency of the federal government that seeks to promote free and fair competition in interstate commerce. The FTC also retains exclusive jurisdiction to prohibit unfair competition and unfair or deceptive acts in or affecting commerce.
FIND AN ANTITRUST LAW PRACTITIONER IN YOUR AREA.
Learn more about BUSINESS LAWS & REGULATIONS (FindLaw's Small Business Center)
RELATED PRACTICE AREAS
Intellectual Property Law
Business & Commercial Law
Health & Health Care Law
- Clayton Act
- Department of Justice (DOJ)
- Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- Sherman Act
For more definitions, visit the FindLaw Legal Dictionary.
PRACTICE AREA NOTES
- Attorneys who practice Antitrust Law are either corporate counsel for a large company, employed by a firm that handles corporate clients and their interests, or legal counsel for the Department of Justice (DOJ) or Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
- Current topics in Antitrust Law include consumer protection in cyberspace, antitrust issues in the medical field (unionization of doctors, mergers of healthcare facilities), and deregulation of utilities.