Illinois Antitrust Lawyers
Free enterprise depends on robust competition. That is why the federal government and the State of Illinois have strict antitrust laws. These laws ensure that all market participants play fair by prohibiting certain types of anti-competitive conduct.
If you have been injured due to a competitor’s illegal actions, the experienced Illinois antitrust attorneys at the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., can help. Our specialty is complex antitrust litigation, with a special emphasis on the healthcare market. We have represented many physicians in Illinois and throughout the country seeking to put a stop to illegal business practices.
When Competitors Illegally Restrain Trade
The core principle of antitrust law is that competitors may not engage in “unreasonable” restraints of trade. Some of the more common practices that violate the antitrust laws include:
- Price-fixing: Agreements where competitors fix prices or rig bids. Price-fixing is a felony under the Sherman Act, the primary federal antitrust statute.
- Market allocation: Similar to price-fixing, market allocation may involve explicit or informal agreements among competitors not to compete for each other’s customers or territories.
- Group boycotts: Conversely, if competitors agree not to deal with a particular customer or firm–including another competitor–that may be an illegal group boycott under the antitrust laws.
- Illegal mergers: While it is generally lawful for competing firms in the same industry to combine, the antitrust laws–specifically the federal Clayton Act–do allow a court to enjoin a merger that may “lessen competition” or “tend to create a monopoly” within a particular geographic area.
Antitrust violations are more likely to occur in heavily consolidated industries like healthcare, where a small number of firms–e.g., hospitals and insurers–dominate the marketplace. In many areas there are only a handful of viable competitors. That makes it much easier for these dominant firms to collude or engage in other illegal restraints of trade.
An Illinois Antitrust Lawyer Can Help
Unfortunately, detecting anti-competitive activity is not always easy. Price-fixing agreements and group boycotts are rarely out in the open. Even public actions like mergers can raise antitrust concerns that are not immediately obvious. This is why it is critical to work with a qualified Illinois antitrust attorney who understands how to investigate and build a case.
In the healthcare market, for instance, we frequently assist doctors in fighting hospitals that use anti-competitive tactics to thwart competition. Hospitals often try to stop physician-owned surgery centers and other market innovations that threaten their geographic monopolies. In some cases, hospitals may even try to manipulate the physician review and credentialing process to punish doctors they perceive as competitive threats. These are precisely the types of behaviors the antitrust laws are intended to prevent.
If you suspect that you have been the victim of anti-competitive or exclusionary conduct, call the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., at (312) 624-7642 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. We can review your situation and advise you on whether you have a potential antitrust case.