Promoting Business Competition and Fairness
Antitrust litigation promotes competition between businesses. Violations of anti-trust laws give companies an unfair advantage against their competitors and harm the public in the form of higher prices and lower quality products and services.
Established in 1993, Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns LLP is a leading class action litigation law firm that handles complex antitrust cases nationwide. Our attorneys represent companies that have lost profits and opportunities to competitors through anticompetitive behavior as well as consumers who paid higher prices or suffered other harm as a result of unfair corporate practices.
One of the primary advantages of healthy competition is a natural check and balance on market prices. In a competitive market, consumers will generally buy the least expensive product, especially if quality and convenience are comparable. Price-fixing artificially inflates prices and leaves consumers with no choice but to pay the artificially-increased cost.
Other similar strategies for illegally collaborating on price include bid rigging, customer allocation, market division and agreements between competitors that restrict competition.
Because price-fixing is illegal, competitors rarely enter into official agreements. Thus, evidence of a deal to manipulate price can be difficult to uncover. For example, sometimes trade associations and industries adopt standards that have the effect of price manipulation.
Vertical Corporate Relationships
The vertical supply chain has become a common business practice that can promote efficiency. Often the benefits are passed down to the consumer in the form of lower prices and availability. However, vertical relationships that interfere with competitors at the same horizontal level or prevent new companies from entering the market may cross the line into violations of the antitrust laws.
In rare instances, corporations dominate a given industry to such an extent that they are not subject to natural competition from new market participants. Monopolies are able to set the price on their products and services as high as the marketplace allows. Monopolies are not in and of themselves illegal, but certain actions that are unique to monopolies are, for example:
- Exclusive contracts within the vertical chain of a monopoly may keep other companies from entering the market.
- Tie-in forces customers to purchase a less desirable product as a condition of purchasing the product they want, which has the effect of driving sales in markets the monopoly does not dominate.
- Predatory pricing occurs when the company charges below-cost pricing to drive out competition, which ultimately results in higher prices to consumers.
Learn More about Filing an Antitrust Class Action
Schedule an appointment with our legal team to learn more about filing an antitrust class action lawsuit. Our national trial firm maintains offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, Texas, and Arizona. We represent both businesses and consumers who have suffered damages due to anticompetitive conduct.