Anyone who does business would like to see a profit from their hard work. You have every reason to want legal safeguards that effectively prevent others from engaging in unfair competition. Fortunately, laws have been created to help offer you just such protection.
Antitrust laws forbid a variety of unfair business practices. Such laws have been on the books for more than 100 years. The basic purpose of these laws has always been to maintain fair competition. There are three central federal antitrust acts and they are as follows:
- The Sherman Act. This act prohibits certain actions that can cause restraints in trade, such as attempting to create a monopoly. In addition, the act addresses such practices as bid rigging, price fixing and market division.
- The Clayton Act. Covered in this act are practices not specifically outlawed by the Sherman Act. For example, the Clayton Act prohibits certain kinds of acquisitions and mergers that might lead to the creation of a monopoly or could cause a negative impact on competition.
- The Federal Trade Commission Act. The FTC Act forbids methods of completion that are deemed unfair. According to the Supreme Court, all acts that are in violation of the Sherman Act are in violation of the FTC Act as well. Additionally, the FTC Act covers certain harmful acts not covered by the Sherman Act.
This is only a very cursory summation of these very important acts. A more detailed summary is available on the Federal Trade Commission’s website. Laws associated with these acts help provide protection to both consumers and businesses alike. In the end, no one wins if only a very small number of players dominate an industry.
If you believe that your business is experiencing harm due to illegal business practices being used by your competition, you may wish to consider consulting with a Florida business attorney. The attorney could offer advice regarding a possible legal response.