Illinois Antitrust Attorneys
The U.S. Supreme Court once observed that the nation’s antitrust laws serve as a “comprehensive charter of economic liberty aimed at preserving free and unfettered competition as the rule of trade.” Antitrust law is designed to protect the competitive process from dominant firms that attempt to abuse their monopoly power in a given industry or geographic market. In addition to federal and state government enforcement, private parties may also take action under the antitrust laws if they have been injured by anti-competitive actions.
The Illinois antitrust attorneys at the Law Office of George M. Sanders, P.C., specialize in complex antitrust litigation, with a focus on the healthcare industry. We assist physicians and other parties with litigating state and federal antitrust claims. Our goal is to help each client protect their right to compete in a fair and equitable marketplace.
When Competition Crosses the Line to Restraint of Trade
Antitrust laws were first passed over a century ago to address the rapid consolidation of key industries. Today, antitrust focuses more on protecting consumer welfare and the competitive process as a whole. The basic principle of antitrust is to ensure no group of individuals or businesses engage in unreasonable “restraints of trade,” including but not limited to the following:
- Price fixing, bid rigging, and market allocation – Federal and Illinois antitrust law outright prohibit any attempt to artificially manipulate markets. This includes any agreement to fix or set prices, predetermine who will bid on a competitive contract, or how to divide customers. Because such actions are classified as “per se” antitrust violations, which means there is no acceptable legal defense for such conduct.
- Exclusionary Conduct – Sometimes the target of an antitrust conspiracy is another competitor (or potential competitor). We often see conduct in the healthcare industry, where hospitals and doctors may abuse legitimate processed like peer review to retaliate against another provider. This is a form of group boycott–a conspiracy to exclude a competitor from the market–and it is illegal.
- Illegal Mergers – While most price fixing and exclusionary conduct violations involve illicit agreements that are designed to escape public attention, businesses can also run afoul of the antitrust laws if they attempt an outright merger that might negatively impact competition. Specifically, the federal Clayton Act bars mergers whose effect “may be substantially to lessen competition,” i.e. that may lead to the acquisition of monopoly power.
Speak With an Illinois Antitrust Lawyer Today
Antitrust violations are serious matters. Anti-competitive conduct often destroys innocent businesses and leads to higher prices, and lower-quality goods and services, for consumers. But antitrust cases are rarely simple. They require a detailed understanding of the law and how it applies to a given set of facts. This is where it is critical to work with an Illinois antitrust attorney who knows how to manage every stage of a case, from initial investigation to trial and appeal. Call the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., today at (312) 624-7642 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.