Illinois Antitrust Lawyer
Competition is the lifeblood of our free-market economy. Of course, that does not stop individual competitors from trying to game the system to their advantage. When such efforts go beyond normal competitive boundaries, however, the antitrust laws are there to restore order.
The Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., focuses on antitrust and complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on physicians and the health care industry. Illinois antitrust attorney George M. Sanders and his team have decades of experience litigating federal and state antitrust claims. We represent plaintiffs who have been the victims of anti-competitive behavior and fight to put a stop to such practices.
Understanding How the Antitrust Laws Work
Antitrust laws were originally adopted in the 19th century to deal with the rise of business trusts, which were arrangements of separate businesses in the same industry under a common ownership group. Subsequently, the scope of the antitrust laws were extended to prohibit outright mergers that threatened competition and other activities designed to restrain trade.
Today the most common types of antitrust claims we see involve the following practices:
- Price fixing and market allocation – The Sherman Act, the original antitrust law, has always been understood to forbid cartels, i.e. competitors entering into agreements to fix prices or allocate markets among themselves. For example, two or more firms in the same industry cannot, as a group, set minimum prices for their services or agree not to compete against one another in certain markets.
- Group boycotts – Similar to price fixing, a group boycott involves a joint agreement not to sell a deal with a particular customer, distributor, or even another competitor. In the context of the health care industry, hospitals may abuse processes like peer review and credentialing to illegally boycott a competing provider.
- Mergers that lessen competition – While the Sherman Act deals with agreements among independent competitors, the Clayton Act addresses outright mergers. Specifically, a merger is illegal if its effect “may be substantially to lessen competition, or to tend to create a monopoly.”
How Can an Illinois Antitrust Attorney Help Me?
Most antitrust lawsuits are initiated by the government or consumers allegedly harmed by anticompetitive practices. Individual competitors can also pursue claims under the Sherman Act and other state and federal antitrust laws if their business has suffered due to monopolistic or exclusionary conduct. For instance, when hospitals in a given geographic area try to exclude competition from physician-owned surgery centers, that may constitute an antitrust violation.
At the Law Office of George M. Sanders, P.C., our team can review your situation and advise you on whether or not you have a viable antitrust claim. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at (312) 624-7642 or contact us online.