Antitrust Law is founded on the concept of consumer protection and promotion. These laws are based on the rationale that consumer’s benefit by being able to have options in selecting and purchasing the best product that fits under their parameters, such as quality, quantity, and price. In simple words Antitrust laws are made to promote a competitive market. Antitrust Law more particularly prevents two types of conduct in efforts to monopolizes market: (1) “Anti-Competitive measures”, tactics used to maintain a company’s power over the market and prevent entry of new competitors, and (2) “Competition on the merits” the monopolistic efforts of more than 1 entity to attempt to limitcompetition in the market.In fact, the severity of violations of antitrustlaws permit certain violations to not only include attorney’s fees, but triple damages. Gilbert & Caddy understand the complex issues involved in Antitrust law in order to protect your interests, whether you have suffered from being swallowed up by the big business or you need to defend improper claims for monopolistic behavior against you and your company. Gilbert & Caddythinks outside of the box in order to cover issues and areas of Antitrust law that most firms do not get involved in such as:
- Violations of the Clayton Act
- Violations of the Sherman Act
- Conspiracy to Monopolize
- Attempted Monopolization
- Conspiracy to Restrain Trade
- Restraint on Trade
- Violations of the Robinson-Patman Act
- Price Discrimination
- Violations of the Federal Trade Commission
- Mergers and Acquisitions
The economy is tough enough as it is, let Gilbert & Caddy make sure that you are not shut out of the financial gains you are entitled to and allow us to protect the goodwill you have developed with your company name.
Clayton Act Violations: The Clayton Act is an essential Antitrust law enactment which was created to foster additional protection against monopolize. The Clayton Act makes it illegal for companies to agree to form mergers or engage in the acquisition or takeover of other companies that would result in severely obstructing the growth of competition in a specific market or that would create a monopoly. Gilbert & Caddy’s understanding and experience with litigation regarding violations of the Clayton Act allow this firm to represent you in collecting damages for or defending violations or claims such as: Price Discrimination;Payment or Acceptance of Commission, Brokerage, or Other Compensation; Exemptions; Exclusive Dealing Contracts, Tying Agreements, Requirement Contracts; Mergers and Acquisitions; and Interlocking Directorates. Back to top.
Sherman Act Violations: The Sherman Act is the most pivotal federal antitrust law which makes illegal any individual or joint activity to enter into a contractual agreement, trust, or conspiracy that hinders interstate or foreign trade. Not only is the punishment potential jail time with a fine of up to $350,000.00 per violation, but the company can be fined to up to $10 million per violation. Section 1 of the Sherman Act provides: “Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce … is declared to be illegal.” This broad provision provides for a wide range of liability that many companies do not and could not be expected to understand. Let the firm ofGilbert & Caddy help prevent you from losing your company or even getting to this potential stage imprisonment and insurmountable fines. Our firm can provide the assistance you need when dealing with these complex issues and give you the attention your situation requires to ensure you salvage your name, finances, and company. Back to top.
Monopolization is embodied in the Sherman Act and occurs when: (1) there is possession of a monopoly power in a relevant market and (2) that possession is willful, intentional, and deliberate, better known as an “element of deliberateness”. The establishment of monopolization and these elements are complex issues that require the in-depth knowledge of Antitrust law that Gilbert & Caddy possesses. Gilbert & Caddy’s practice has covered an assortment of monopolization lawsuits throughout the years which will help you in knowing how you have been damaged and at times more importantly what damages you are rightfully entitled to. Back to top.
Attempted Monopolization/Conspiracy to Monopolize: You may think just because another business or individual tried to obtain a monopoly and force you out of business, but failed, that you have no claim against them. WRONG!It is improper to even attempt to acquire a monopoly through anticompetitive or predatory conduct. If there is a specific intent to monopolize and a dangerous probability of success in achieving the monopoly, than a violation of the antitrust laws is likely to exist in whichGilbert & Caddy can seek relief on your behalf. Back to top.
Restraint of Trade/Conspiracy to Restrain Trade: Unreasonable restraints of trade are illegal and at times the restraint of trade is so reprehensible and obvious that the restraint can be held to be violation of antitrust law on its face. An unreasonable restraint of trade means that the restraint tends to limit production, affect prices, or otherwise control the market to the detriment of purchasers or consumers of goods and services. Throughout the years Gilbert & Caddy has represented business in numerous disputes involving restraints of trade involving such issues as: Non-compete Agreements, Contractual Restraints; Horizontal Price Fixing; Horizontal Nonprice Restraints; Horizontal Allocation of Territories; Horizontal Allocation of Product Markets; Horziontal Allocation of Production; Horizontal Group Boycott; Group Boycott by Association; Horizontal Agreement by Association; Vertical Price Restraints; Vertical Nonprice Restraints; and Vertical-Exclusive Dealing. There are various types of restraints of trade in every aspect of industry, for example one of the most common restraints of trade are contracts which incorporate non-compete agreements which often involve an employer and former employee, tying agreements requiring purchasers to buy additional products from suppliers, and other actions that restrict competition. It is also unlawful for two or more companies to conspire and act jointly with a common scheme designed to achieve an unlawful objective such as imposing unreasonable restraints on trade and severe restrictions on a market that they control causing customers to pay higher prices. The firm ofGilbert & Caddy has valuable experience in proceeding with defending claims involving unlawful restraints of trade, which will help maximize your ability to proceed in a way that benefits you. Back to top.
Tying: The firm of Gilbert & Caddy, also handles one of the most common forms of antitrust violations in tying agreements. A tying agreement is an agreement by a party to sell one product/service but only on the condition that the buyer also purchases a different product/service, or at least the buyer agrees that they will not purchase that product/service from any other supplier. In essence, the only way the buyer can get the product/service they want is by buying another product/service that the buyer does not want. As with other antitrust law violations, some tying agreements are per seviolations, meaning that the violation is so detrimental to competition that the act is automatically illegal. Gilbert & Caddy is experienced in the twists and turns of antitrust law and tying agreements so we provide you with expeditious representation and advise you as to the options you have when proceeding or defending your case. Back to top.
Robinson-Patman Act is a supplement to the Sherman Act and Clayton Act that focuses on price discrimination and promotes equal competition between large and small businesses. In other words, “the major legislative purpose behind the Robinson- Patman Act was to provide some measure of protection to small independent retailers and their independent suppliers from what was thought to be unfair competition from vertically integrated, multi-location chain stores.” Boise Cascaade Corp., 107 FTC 76, 210 (1986). The Robinson-Patman Act requires: (1) sellers to sell to everyone at the same price; (2) buyers to buy from a particular seller at the same price as everyone else; and (3) prohibit sellers and buyers from using improper tactics to indirectly accomplish the goals of the #1 and #2 above directly prohibit. The Robinson-Patman Act requires key specific elements in order to prevent price discrimination and threats of injury to competition. ThroughGilbert & Caddy’s years of experience our firm is able to simplify the complexities of the Robinson-Patman Act in order to provide you with the best understanding of what remedies or defenses you may have in regards to the various degrees of price discrimination. Back to top.
Price Discrimination is embodied in the Robinson-Pacman Act and occurs when different parties are charged different prices for the same goods or services. The Court’s strictly prohibit this type of action if it is made in an attempt to lessen competition. Gilbert & Caddy is familiar with the various degrees of price discrimination as well as the defenses that can be raised; our firm will provide you with explanations and simple breakdowns of what options you may have so we can work together to effectively and efficiently proceed in your best interest. Back to top.
Federal Trade Commission Act: can only be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and prohibits “unfair methods of competition” and “unfair or deceptive acts or practices.” The Federal Trade Commission has a broad scope of power to protect consumers in interstate and foreign commerce from these unfair methods of competition. Violations of the FTC are usually proven by displaying bad faith, fraud, oppression, or violation of public policy, however if there is a possible likelihood of deceiving the consumer then the FTC can consider that deception as a violation of the FTC Act. Going against the FTC is a daunting task, allow Gilbert & Caddy to help you defend your case against the FTC or take the steps necessary to protect you from the FTC charging you with violations of the FTC Act. Back to top.
Mergers and Acquisitions of companies have been one of the most common business practice over the past decade. Simply put mergers occur when two or more companies join together to form a new company and an acquisition occurs when one company purchases another with no new company being created. In order to proceed properly and efficiently with a merger or acquisition every essence of the companies involved need to be considered, from every asset to every liability, including the company’s goodwill and the company’s employees. The documentation required in order to properly merge with or acquire a company is very burdensome and can be confusing, from providing new contractual agreements with employees and shareholder agreements, to changing the type of company for tax or liability implications. When trying to merge or acquire companies, let Gilbert & Caddy proceed prepare all the paperwork and guidance you need in order to protect you and provide you with the insurance so you can: (1) be fully aware of what you are buying and you are in fact getting what you are buying or (2) you sell your company and interests for the reasonable amount you are entitled too. Back to top.