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American antitrust law: focus and considerations

Notwithstanding that business in California and across the United States can be -- and uniformly is -- hard-edged and an even cutthroat pursuit among rivals, it is also predicated on the notion of fundamental fairness.

As noted in one online primer on business torts and criminal corporate conduct, federal and state antitrust laws exist in America "to protect trade and commerce from unfair restraints, monopolies and price fixing."

Although many statutes and case law outcomes collectively address antitrust law in the United States, one federal law in particular provides overriding governance, namely, the Sherman Act. The legislation's statutory provisions focus squarely on business monopolies and actions such as price fixing and restraint of trade.

The Clayton Act, which is an amendment to the Sherman Act, also addresses unfair business activities, especially in the realm of corporate mergers and acquisitions.

Both civil and criminal penalties can result from judicial rulings that posit corporate wrongdoing. A company might be enjoined from engaging in certain behavior, for example, or divested of profits. Contracts can be canceled, and fines and prison terms meted out in certain instances.

An antitrust matter can understandably yield strong concerns for a California business accused of tortious business conduct or, alternatively, seeking to purposefully respond to a rival that is acting unlawfully.

As noted in the above-cited online overview, any business involved in an antitrust or related corporate matter might reasonably want to contact a proven antitrust lawyer without delay when a concern arises that can adversely affect business operations and profits.

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