Disputes are inevitable for business owners. Often, disputes arise within the business. For instance, problems may develop when trying to negotiate an employee contract or while working out arrangements with shareholders. However, business owners often find themselves involved in disputes with outside parties as well, such as consumers or competing businesses.
Commercial litigation attorneys specialize in negotiating disputes regarding business law. One common area of business disputes is antitrust actions. Antitrust laws are in place to protect competition and prevent monopolies. The team of commercial litigation attorneys at Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. has experience representing antitrust actions in the Melbourne, FL area. We will fight to ensure your business is able to practice in a fair and competitive marketplace.
Defining Antitrust Litigation
Antitrust laws are a series of regulations that have been put in place with the goal of preserving a free and competitive marketplace. These laws preserve competition and protect the welfare of the consumer by preventing unfair marketing practices. Some of the anticompetitive trade practices that are prohibited under the terms of these laws include price-fixing, bid-rigging, market allocation between competitors, and monopoly power by large corporations.
Antitrust laws are necessary in an open marketplace. They ensure competition among businesses and provide consumers with more choices for high quality products that are fairly priced. When these regulations are not followed, an antitrust suit can be filed. An antitrust lawsuit may be filed by the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, or state attorney generals. Individuals who have suffered losses due to antitrust violations can also file suit through a class-action lawsuit.
Penalties in Antitrust Litigation
Businesses found to be in violation of antitrust regulations face serious penalties. First and foremost, the business will be ordered to stop any business practices that are found to be unfair. In addition to this, antitrust violations can result in civil and criminal penalties. Individuals may be fined up to $350,000 and may be sentenced to up to three years in prison.
Depending on the type of violation committed, businesses may be fined up to $10 million. A class-action lawsuit can result in further penalties. Businesses may be forced to compensate consumers for treble-damages. This allows consumers to be compensated for up to three times the amount of damages that were actually suffered. With all of these factors taken into consideration, the penalties of an antitrust violation can damage, or even destroy, a business.
Seeking Legal Representation
If your business has been accused of violating antitrust regulation, it is important to work with a team of experienced commercial litigation attorneys. Out attorneys can inform you of your legal rights and fight to find a resolution that will remedy the situation in your favor.
Similarly, if you believe that another business is inhibiting your right to a free marketplace through unfair business practices, our attorneys can discuss the details of your situation and advise you on your best course of legal action. To learn more about antitrust actions, and how our attorneys at Charpentier Law Firm, P.A. can guide you through these complex situations, contact us at your earliest convenience.