Antitrust and Small Businesses

Antitrust is a term thrown around regularly in the news and in the business world in general. Often, it applies to massive corporations – but, those are just the newsmakers. Antitrust laws apply to small business owners as well, which means the time to gain some understanding is now. Learn more about how antitrust laws can relate to your business.

Antitrust enforcement is active and current. Agencies at both the federal and state levels are responsible for enforcing antitrust laws, and prosecuting businesses found to be in violation of those laws.

It’s important that as a business owner, you understand the law and that you train your employees appropriately. While those at the top are likely to be held responsible if something goes awry, anyone working under a business can be found liable if a violation takes place.

What is Antitrust?

Antitrust laws were created due to the fact that competition in the marketplace is a good thing. It provides the largest variety of products – giving consumers choices – along with a range of quality and price.

Antitrust laws do not guarantee that all competitors will be equal – which is why certain brands are known to stand out above others – however, they prevent insurmountable barriers to competition.

What Actions are Considered to be Violations?

Actions that are prohibited under antitrust laws include:

  • Price Discrimination. When one competitor uses their reputation and success to secure favorable product prices that are unavailable to weaker or lesser known companies is considered a violation of antitrust laws.
  • Monopolization. When one company creates a monopoly by acquiring all of the competitors or uses another tactic to control the market and its prices, a violation has likely occurred.
  • Conspiring to Fix Market Prices. If one business – regardless of its size – discusses pricing with the competition, it could be viewed as a violation.
  • Conspiring to Boycott. If two or more businesses discuss boycotting competitors or suppliers, it can violate antitrust laws.
  • Conspiring to Allocate Markets or Consumers. If businesses work together or “agree” to divide up customers or territories, it is illegal.

All of these acts, especially those that fall under the “conspiring” category, pertain to businesses of all sizes. Simple conversations between businesses can lead to major antitrust violations and lawsuits. Certain industries are more prone to antitrust violations than others, so it is important to understand the challenges that your particular business could encounter in this area.

Getting Help

If you have questions relating to antitrust laws, or, are concerned about how your business could be affected by them, speaking to an experienced business law attorney, like Michael Hynum of Hynum Law, may be in your best interest. An experienced attorney can look at your business practices and provide guidance for moving forward in compliance with the law.

Ready to get started? Contact Hynum Law today to set up a consultation. We look forward to working with you.

Antitrust is a term thrown around regularly in the news and in the business world in general. Often, it applies to massive corporations – but, those are just the newsmakers. Antitrust laws apply to small business owners as well, which means the time to gain some understanding is now.

Antitrust enforcement is active and current. Agencies at both the federal and state levels are responsible for enforcing antitrust laws, and prosecuting businesses found to be in violation of those laws.

It’s important that as a business owner, you understand the law and that you train your employees appropriately. While those at the top are likely to be held responsible if something goes awry, anyone working under a business can be found liable if a violation takes place.

What is Antitrust?

Antitrust laws were created due to the fact that competition in the marketplace is a good thing. It provides the largest variety of products – giving consumers choices – along with a range of quality and price.

Antitrust laws do not guarantee that all competitors will be equal – which is why certain brands are known to stand out above others – however, they prevent insurmountable barriers to competition.

What Actions are Considered to be Violations?

Actions that are prohibited under antitrust laws include:

  • Price Discrimination. When one competitor uses their reputation and success to secure favorable product prices that are unavailable to weaker or lesser known companies is considered a violation of antitrust laws.
  • Monopolization. When one company creates a monopoly by acquiring all of the competitors or uses another tactic to control the market and its prices, a violation has likely occurred.
  • Conspiring to Fix Market Prices. If one business – regardless of its size – discusses pricing with the competition, it could be viewed as a violation.
  • Conspiring to Boycott. If two or more businesses discuss boycotting competitors or suppliers, it can violate antitrust laws.
  • Conspiring to Allocate Markets or Consumers. If businesses work together or “agree” to divide up customers or territories, it is illegal.

All of these acts, especially those that fall under the “conspiring” category, pertain to businesses of all sizes. Simple conversations between businesses can lead to major antitrust violations and lawsuits. Certain industries are more prone to antitrust violations than others, so it is important to understand the challenges that your particular business could encounter in this area.

Getting Help

If you have questions relating to antitrust laws, or, are concerned about how your business could be affected by them, speaking to an experienced business law attorney, like Michael Hynum of Hynum Law, may be in your best interest. An experienced attorney can look at your business practices and provide guidance for moving forward in compliance with the law.

Ready to get started? Contact Hynum Law today to set up a consultation, we offer lots of services related to business law. We look forward to working with you.

Category