Lakeland Antitrust Attorneys
Many industries, notably healthcare, have undergone unprecedented consolidation in recent years. Far from benefiting consumers and providers, the reality is that in many Florida localities there are now a handful of companies that dictate access and prices. This is bad for consumers, bad for providers, and bad for Florida’s economy as a whole.
One way to restrict this growing monopolistic power is through aggressive enforcement of the antitrust laws. Although the federal government and the State of Florida normally bare primary responsibility for implementing antitrust policies, private parties may also bring claims when they have been wronged by anticompetitive conduct. At the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., our skilled Lakeland antitrust attorneys assist healthcare providers with investigating and prosecuting civil cases against hospitals, insurers, and other parties whose acts stifle lawful competition.
Focusing on Anticompetitive Conduct
In the 19th century there was no legal mechanism in most states for companies to merge. To get around this problem they formed “trusts,” large combinations of nominally competing firms. Eventually these trusts grew so powerful that Congress and the state legislatures moved to adopt the first antitrust laws to prevent monopolization of key sectors of the economy.
Over the past several decades, antitrust policy has focused more on consumer welfare. But the original prohibition against unreasonable “restraints of trade” and monopolistic conduct remain in force. Here are just some of the antitrust issues that our experienced Lakeland antitrust attorneys deal with on a daily basis:
- Conspiracies and Collusion – In the antitrust context, a “conspiracy” involves any combination of two or more people who attempt to restrain the proper functioning of competitive markets. For example, if the major insurers in the Lakeland area agreed to fix prices for physician reimbursements, that would be a conspiracy in restraint of trade.
- Abuses of Market Power – Even unilateral actions may violate the antitrust laws when they represent an abuse of a monopoly or quasi-monopoly position. Consider a locally dominant hospital that manipulates patient referrals to benefit their own doctors at the expense of competing independent practice groups. Such actions may run afoul of the Florida Antitrust Act and related federal antitrust statutes.
- Monopoly Through Merger – The Clayton Antitrust Act was passed in the early 20th century to address the problem of companies that seek to permanently restrain competition through outright merger. While some consolidation can benefit local markets, oftentimes it is providers and patients that fall prey to the bottom line of the merging entities.
Our Lakeland Antitrust Attorneys Can Help
If you are aware of anticompetitive practices in your industry, your first step should be to contact a qualified Lakeland antitrust attorney. A civil antitrust case is not something you can resolve informally. It requires the assistance of attorneys who understand both the dynamics of your industry as well as the underlying complexity of antitrust litigation.
The Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., can guide you through each step of the antitrust process. Our dedicated legal team will represent your interests with professionalism and a commitment to obtaining the most favorable result. Call us today at (312) 624-7642 or contact us online to schedule a confidential initial consultation so we can learn more about how we can help you.