A customer or market allocation conspiracy is an agreement by competitors to divide markets or customers for a product or service. The purpose of the agreement is to eliminate competition for each competitor’s designated share of the market.
Customer or market allocation may be accomplished by allowing each competitor the exclusive right to deal with specific:
- customers or classes of customers,
- geographic portions of a market, or
- portions of a market divided by percentages or numbers of customers.
A market division scheme can also involve an agreement among participants to refrain from competing for each other’s existing customers or markets.
Regardless of how the scheme is carried out, the result is a virtual monopoly by each conspirator for that conspirator’s designated market share. This eliminates competition for pricing as well as for customers or territories. Conspirators can then charge their respective customers higher prices without risk of being undercut by their competitors.
Kohn Swift’s antitrust lawyers represent businesses and consumers harmed by illegal customer and market allocation schemes.
CUSTOMER AND MARKET ALLOCATION LAWSUITS
Market allocation is a form of agreement not to compete. Agreements not to compete that unreasonably hinder competition may violate both federal and state antitrust laws.
Horizontal market division schemes (those among direct competitors) violate the Sherman Act by:
- eliminating competition among conspiring competitors, and
- keeping other competitors from a market.
In federal antitrust actions brought under the Sherman Act, courts award successful claimants reasonable attorneys’ fees and monetary damages equal to three times their actual losses. In appropriate cases, a court may also order the defendants to cease any further activity related to the prohibited conspiracy. Plaintiffs in private customer and market allocation antitrust actions may also receive damages and injunctive relief under certain states’ antitrust laws.
BEST LAWYERS HAS NAMED KOHN, SWIFT & GRAF AS A 2023 “BEST LAW FIRM”
Kohn, Swift & Graf, P.C. has achieved a Tier 1 ranking in Philadelphia in the area of antitrust law.
“The U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” rankings are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. Firms who have at least one lawyer who has been recognized in the previous edition of Best Lawyers in a practice area and metro area currently ranked by “Best Law Firms” are eligible to receive a ranking.”
Joseph C. Kohn, William E. Hoese, Robert J. LaRocca, and Douglas A. Abrahams were selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers© in the area of antitrust litigation in 2021.
Zahra R. Dean was selected for inclusion in Best Lawyers© “Ones to Watch” in the area of mass torts litigation/class actions in 2021.