Federal Antitrust Laws and Regulations

The Joseph Saveri Law Firm is one of the most recognized antitrust and global competition law firms in the United States, recovering billions of dollars for classes of consumers and purchasers. Our diverse team of attorneys has a depth of experience handling antitrust legal matters and an extensive understanding of federal antitrust laws.

The three key federal antitrust laws are the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Clayton Antitrust Act, and the Federal Trade Commission Act. These Acts set the groundwork for antitrust by detailing proper business practices. Public enforcement of federal antitrust law is overseen by the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission. California has enacted its own antitrust statute, known as the Cartwright Act, to protect individuals and businesses within the state affected by anti-competitive conduct. Individuals and businesses that run afoul of the antitrust laws are subject to criminal and civil penalties. Those who violate the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Clayton Act, or the Cartwright Act are also at risk for penalties from private causes of action.

The Sherman Antitrust Act was approved in 1890 and was the first piece of legislation passed by Congress that regulated the monopolization of business practices and prohibited trusts. It was enacted to minimize concentrations of power that interfered with trade. Later refined through the Clayton Act, the Sherman Act created the groundwork to set regulations against conduct which unfairly limits competition.

In 1914, the Clayton Antitrust Act expanded on the Sherman Antitrust Act to better address unethical business practices, such as price-fixing and monopolies, and uphold various rights of labor. It gave both the government and private parties the power to protect both competition and consumers by restricting unhealthy business practices. Where the Sherman Antitrust Act only declared monopoly illegal, the Clayton Act broadened these regulations to define specific illegal business practices that are conducive to the formation of monopolies.

The Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 also prohibits unfair or deceptive acts and practices in commerce. The Federal Trade Commission, or FTC, was established as an independent administrative agency to protect consumers and promote competition. The Clayton Act also grants the FTC the authority to act against unfair monopolistic practices. While the FTC cannot punish violators of antitrust, it can issue cease and desist orders and argue cases in federal and administrative courts.

California has its own important antitrust statute that works in conjunction with the federal antitrust statutes. The Cartwright Act is a powerful remedy to anti-competitive behavior affecting individuals and businesses within the state of California. It provides further protection while restricting specific activities and actions that are more relevant to citizens of the state.

While government-imposed fines are designed to discourage bad behavior, they do not to help those harmed recover damages. In addition to government enforcement of antitrust laws, the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Clayton Act, and the Cartwright Act each provide private rights of action for those injured as a result of antitrust violations. When individuals or companies violate antitrust regulations, our team will work with clients and help those that were affected recover their damages.

At the Joseph Saveri Law Firm, we appreciate the logistics of antitrust and global competition regulations and we understand why they were created. Our deep understanding of the history of antitrust and global competition laws allows us to address our clients’ needs and advise on a range of antitrust cases.

If you are a victim of unfair competition or if illegal agreements or other forms of collusive behavior have hampered your employment or purchasing prospects, we are here to help you. Perhaps you are concerned generally with the role of antitrust and global competition in our era of increasing business consolidation? That’s what we fight against every day.

We encourage you to contact us about these or any other issues you are aware of that impact you, your colleagues, or your friends and family. Our legal team will answer your questions and evaluate your situation without charge, and any conversations will be kept confidential as provided by law. We are here for you when you need us.