Our national antitrust lawyers represent businesses and consumers who suffer economic losses from the effects of price fixing. Price fixing is an agreement between or among two or more sellers to reduce competition for the pricing of goods or services.
Such agreements include written or verbal arrangements to:
• increase, maintain, or stabilize prices
• determine prices through an agreed upon formula
• refrain from advertising prices
• offer and maintain discounts at agreed upon rates, or offer no discounts at all
• limit credit offers
• reduce supply
Price fixing hinders competition because it interferes with the natural supply and demand pricing that occurs in a free marketplace. This interference forces buyers to pay artificially inflated prices for goods and services.
Price Fixing Litigation
Price fixing lawsuits can be brought as individual or class actions in federal or state court. Federal and state laws prohibit anti-competitive business practices that impede fair competition and provide relief to businesses and individuals through private action.
Sherman Act Violations
Federal price fixing claims are based on Sherman Act violations. Horizontal price fixing, an agreement by two or more competing businesses to fix prices for products or services, is a per se violation of the Sherman Act.
A per se antitrust violation is one whose anti-competitive nature is evident from the activity itself. Because the anti-competitive intentions and effects of horizontal price fixing are so apparent, no evidence beyond the existence of the agreement is needed to deem it an antitrust violation.
Federal price fixing actions by direct and indirect purchasers may be brought under the Clayton Act, but only direct purchasers may recover damages under federal law. A direct purchaser is a buyer that purchased a good or service directly from a company that entered into a price fixing agreement. An indirect purchaser is one that bought the good or service from a direct purchaser.
The Clayton Act allows direct purchasers of a good or service (consumers or businesses) harmed by any antitrust violation, including price fixing, to recover treble damages from the sellers in a civil antitrust action. The Clayton Act also provides for injunctive relief by both direct and indirect purchasers threatened with injury from antitrust violations.
In contrast to federal antitrust laws, many state antitrust laws allow indirect purchasers to recover monetary damages in price fixing and other antitrust civil actions. This often results in actions by indirect purchasers and direct purchasers harmed by the same price fixing scheme.
Contact an Antitrust Lawyer
Price fixing prevents businesses and individuals from buying goods and services at fair prices. It is also one of the most common antitrust violations. If you believe you may be the victim of a price fixing scheme, contact us today for an evaluation of your case without charge.