Antitrust & Consumer Protection in Oakland
Protecting Competition & Consumers
Antitrust laws make up the body of law that prohibits anti-competitive behavior (also known as monopolies) and business practices that are unfair. These laws are designed to encourage competition in the marketplace. Antitrust laws also make illegal certain practices deemed to hurt businesses or consumers or both, or those practices that violate standards of ethical behavior.
About Antitrust Violations
Both the federal government and states’ Attorneys General may bring Antitrust actions. Private civil suits may also be brought, in both California state and federal court, against violators of state and federal antitrust laws. Federal Antitrust laws, as well as most state laws, provide for treble (three times) damages against Antitrust violators in order to encourage private lawsuit enforcement of Antitrust law.
Examples of Antitrust violations
- Several technology businesses getting together to set the price of a computer part that is sold to every computer manufacture;
- The only two gas stations in a small town deciding together how much to charge for gas;
- Two businesses competing for a government contract decide together who will win the bid;
- Two competing businesses agreeing together which customers will be referred to each business; and
- The nation’s leading soup company deciding to promote its own line of crackers by selling soup and crackers together, which results in a big drop in other companies’ cracker sales.
As you can see from these examples, it can be difficult to determine whether a particular action could be a violation of Antitrust laws or not. If you have questions about whether a particular action could be a violation of Antitrust rules, it’s usually best to contact an attorney with significant experience in Antitrust matters.
For example, Antitrust laws prohibit agreements in restraint of trade, monopolization and attempted monopolization, anticompetitive mergers and tie-in schemes, and in some circumstances, price discrimination in the sale of commodities.
About Consumer Protection Laws
Consumer protection laws can be both state and federal, and can help consumers who have faced financial losses, injuries, or other negative consequences because of an issue with a consumer product.
Violations of Consumer Protection Laws
- A consumer who was injured by using a defective medical device;
- A consumer who thought a product they were purchasing was one price, but later being told that price was no longer available;
- A consumer who bought an unsafe product that failed to meet minimum safety requirements; and
- A product that fails to live up to its advertising in a significant way.
Differences Between Consumer Protection Laws And Antitrust Laws
Consumer protection laws are distinct from Antitrust laws and seek to regulate certain aspects of the commercial relationship between consumers and business, such as by requiring minimum standards of product quality, requiring the disclosure of certain details about a product or service (e.g., with regard to cost or implied warranty), prohibiting misleading advertising, or prescribing financial compensation for product liability.
Speak To A California Employment Attorney, Micha Star Liberty
At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty has experience representing both consumers and businesses in Antitrust cases and consumer protection cases, prosecuting violations of both state and federal law. She works with clients in the Oakland – San Francisco Bay and surrounding area.
Contact Liberty Law if you believe you have an Antitrust or Consumer Protection case, and would like to speak to an attorney.