Antitrust Class Action Lawsuits. If you’ve been the victim of price-fixing, monopolization, bid-rigging or any other business practice that constitutes a restraint of trade, you may be able to obtain compensation by filing an antitrust lawsuit. Antitrust lawsuits, whether filed individually or as class action cases, provide a way to ensure that markets remain free, open and competitive.
Our antitrust lawyers represent consumers and businesses harmed as a result of fraud, deceptive trade practices and anticompetitive behavior. We offer free lawsuit evaluations to anyone interested in seeking redress through the filing of an antitrust lawsuit. To find out how our antitrust lawyers can help you restore fairness to the market, please contact us today.
Antitrust laws have been created by state and federal governments to ensure a fair marketplace. They are designed to prevent businesses from putting consumers, as well as their competitors, at a disadvantage by engaging in uncompetitive practices.
Some important federal antitrust laws include:
- The Sherman Antitrust Act – Adopted in 1890, this was the first antitrust measure passed by the U.S. Congress. The law allows the federal government to investigate and, if necessary, prosecute monopolies and price-fixing cartels.
- The Clayton Act – Passed in 1914, this law allows the federal government to enforce antitrust provisions not only when businesses have effectively permitted or created a monopoly, but even when they may “tend to create” a monopolistic atmosphere.
- The Federal Trade Commission Act – Passed in conjunction with the Clayton Act, The Federal Trade Commission Act bans “unfair methods of competition” and “unfair or deceptive acts or practices.”
The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice is responsible for enforcing antitrust laws for the federal government. However, lawsuits brought by consumers and businesses against parties engaged in uncompetitive practices have also played a vital role in enforcing antitrust laws.
Recent Antitrust Settlements
Some recent antitrust lawsuits that have resulted in victories for plaintiffs include: In re Visa Check/ MasterCard – Merchants sued the companies alleging that the policies unfairly required them to accept signature debit cards the same as credit cards at the same transaction fee. Merchants also alleged Visa and MasterCard attempted to monopolize the debit card business. The settlement resulted in debit cards being clearly marked so that they would not be confused with credit cards. At $1+ billion, this was the largest antitrust settlement in U.S. history.
In Re Brand Name Prescription Drugs Antitrust Litigation – A major federal antitrust action brought by thousands of retail pharmacies against nearly three dozen pharmaceutical manufacturers and wholesalers. Settlements exceeded $700 million.
Microsoft Antitrust Litigation -Various cases filed in state courts throughout the U.S. in which plaintiffs claimed Microsoft had engaged in anticompetitive conduct, violated state deceptive and unfair business practices statutes, and overcharged businesses and consumers for Windows operating system software and for certain software applications. Settlements were valued at over $700 million.
Department Store Cosmetics Cases Antitrust Litigation – Consumers alleged price-fixing on the part of the nation’s largest department store chains and the major manufacturers of prestige beauty products. This case resulted in a nearly $200 million settlement, and the distribution of free cosmetics.