Tying / Bundling
Kohn, Swift & Graf’s antitrust lawyers represent clients injured by anti-competitive tying / bundling arrangements. Tying / bundling agreements:
• require a buyer of one product or service to make a separate purchase of a second product or service (tying), or
• force a buyer to purchase two products or services at once by combining the products or services in a single transaction and package (bundling)
Tying / Bundling Lawsuits
State and federal antitrust laws prohibit tying / bundling arrangements with anti-competitive effects. Because tying / bundling agreements can positively affect competition, courts consider several factors to determine if a tying / bundling agreement violates the antitrust laws:
• whether the buyer’s purchase of a product or service is conditioned upon the purchase of another
• whether the agreement affects interstate commerce
• whether the seller’s market power is sufficient for the agreement to result in a restraint on trade
The seller’s market share is a determining factor in assessing the legality of a tying / bundling arrangement. For an agreement to constitute an antitrust violation, the seller must possess enough market power for the agreement to force some or all competitors from the market.
Courts may find that such agreements violate federal antitrust laws by:
• hampering trade by current competitors or by others who wish to enter the market
• forming or tending to form a monopoly when a seller has a dominant market position
Damages in Tying / Bundling Actions
Anti-competitive tying / bundling schemes harm consumers as well as competing businesses. Consumers pay more for the product they want to purchase by being forced to buy another product along with it. Businesses suffer lost profits by being kept from competing in a market.
In addition to attorneys’ fees, federal antitrust laws allow consumers and businesses injured by illegal tying / bundling to recover triple the amount of actual damages. Plaintiffs may also obtain injunctions preventing defendants from continuing tying / bundling agreements.
Contact an Antitrust Lawyer
Tying / bundling agreements can injure businesses and force consumers to buy and pay for products they do not want. If you suffered economic damage from an illegal tying / bundling arrangement as either a business or a consumer, contact us today. We will evaluate your case without charge.