According to Florida Statute chapter 542, “the purpose of this act to complement the body of federal law prohibiting restraints of trade or commerce in order to foster effective competition. It is the intent of the Legislature that this act be liberally construed to accomplish its beneficial purpose.” Antitrust Violations law is intended to set rules and restrictions that prevent a business market to participate in unfair practices that can negatively impact the market. If a business decides they want to sell a product for a low price in East Orlando but then increases it’s price on International drive for the same product, that is a violation for antitrust laws.
The reason being is that antitrust laws like the Clayton Act and Sherman Act. This would be considered price discrimination, meaning that you change the price of the item depending on the area in order to get more profit. Price discrimination would be a violation of the Clayton Act which prevents such practices to be performed by businesses. A violation of any of these laws can lead to hefty fines or possible prison sentence. These are serious crimes that can affect multiple parties like individuals, businesses and corporations.
Antitrust lawyers can work for law firms and in the government. Their role is to represent affected individuals or businesses who have been harmed by companies or individuals who have engaged in illegal and anti-competitive business practices. Your lawyer will go through any documents or evidence that can show evidence of antitrust violations and help you prepare a lawsuit. They will also study the market and competition to see if there is a trend or a violation. Your lawyer may also be able to conduct counseling for your business in regards to antitrust laws and conduct in internal investigation of the business.
How does competition law works in Florida?
Competition law is a law that prohibits businesses from entering an anti-competitive agreement. This law is supposed to allow businesses to compete in fair and healthy competition. If a business has no competition, then there are anti-trust laws to prevent things like unfair mergers that will put that business in a disadvantage. Anti-trust laws are meant to prevent unfair restraints like monopolies or fixed prices.
What are the common types of antitrust violations in Florida?
Any type of practices that cause more harm than good to a business can be considered a violation to the antitrust law. An unlawful monopoly would be an example of a violation. An unlawful monopoly occurs when a company takes control of the market through a monopoly because of its products and services. This can lead to others in the market being affected through inferior products/service and higher cost for consumers. Another antitrust violation is fixed prices, this is done when companies agree to have prices for certain items at a set price and usually ends in the item having a higher price. Bid rigging in another violation which involves manipulating a bidding process for a company or government by conspiring with their competitors. This can be done by offering a subcontract if they help you or by taking turns placing bids.
There are three ways to enforce these violations. The first is through Criminal and civil enforcement actions that are enforced by the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. The second way is through Civil enforcement actions enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. And the last way to enforce antitrust violations is for private parties to file a Lawsuit claiming damage claims.
Antitrust violations can have both civil and criminal penalties. A violation of the Sherman Act can lead to an individual have a fine of up to $350,000 and face a prison sentence of up to three years. A company in violation of the Sherman Act may be fined up to $10 million. If there is a violation of the Clayton Act, then the affected individual can sue for three times the amount of damages suffered.
The best way to avoid violating antitrust laws is to follow the Sherman Act, the Clayton Act and the Federal Trade Commission Act. The Sherman Act states that no contract, whether it’s written or implied, is allowed to restrain trade. This also includes restricting a business from reaching out to a certain demographic, what prices to place on certain products, and anything that can prevent a consumer from getting the best product at the lowest rate. The Clayton Act prevents anticompetitive mergers, any discriminatory and predatory pricing and any unethical business practices. The Federal Trade Commission Act prohibits unfair competition and supplements provisions that goes along with the other two acts.
An individual who is found guilty of violating any of the anti-trust laws can receive a fine of up to $350,000 and can also serve a prison sentence of up to three years.
There can be serious penalties for violating any of the antitrust laws. If you violate the Sherman Act is a criminal law and the penalties reflect that. If you violate the Sherman Act, you can face up to $100 million if you are a corporation and a $1 million for an individual. Along with the fine you can face a prison sentence of up to 10 years. If the victims loss or the amount the conspirators earned was a total over $100 million then the fines are doubled.
Need a antitrust lawyer in Florida?
Antitrust laws are put in place to create a fair market for businesses and consumers. Laws like the Sherman act, Clayton Act, and the Federal Trade Commission Act are set to make sure everyone has a fair advantage. Any violations of any of these laws can lead to prison time or fines that can go up to $100 million. Violations of antitrust can have serious consequences and don’t just affect business, but the consumers as well.
At the Smith & Eulo Law Firm, we have criminal defense lawyers to represent you in your case. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, do not hesitate to call us at 407-930-8912 or email at email@example.com. We strive to always be available for you.