The word "trust" means many things. In the context of business, a trust is a very large organization (such as a corporation or combination of entities) created or motivated by eliminating the competition. Many industries are defined by just a few large players (such as Google), but illegal trusts are those actively seeking to crush the competition and secure an unfair advantage. Federal and state antitrust laws establish guidelines to help prevent the formation of trusts or break them up if necessary.
Because most trusts tend to be national or multinational in scope, they typically are handled through federal regulation (via the Federal Trade Commission, or FTC). State courts usually handle antitrust cases that are more localized and don't involve interstate commerce.
Arkansas Antitrust Law: Overview
The Arkansas code prohibits any kind of monopoly, while also addressing price fixing, quantity fixing, or driving out competition in general. Additional details of Arkansas antitrust law are listed in the following chart.
|Antitrust Code Section||4-75-301, et seq. (4-75-304, 4-75-312, and 4-75-314 were repealed by Act 2003 No. 1172 §3)|
|Is a Private Lawsuit Possible?||No prerequisite; it is the duty of the attorney general to enforce the status 4-75-307|
|Time Limit to Bring Claim||5 yrs., 4-75-322(1)|
|Can a Successful Plaintiff Recover Attorneys' Fees?||Attorney general receives costs + attnys fees Act 1172 of 2003 §1|
Note: State laws are not etched in stone and may change at any time, usually through the enactment of new statutes but also through higher court decisions and other means. Be sure to contact an Arkansas antitrust attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Basics of Federal Antitrust Law
The Sherman Act, Clayton Act, and Federal Trade Commission Act are used by the FTC to keep corporations in check and discourage the formation of trusts. The Sherman Act outlaws "every contract, combination, or conspiracy in restraint of trade," while the Clayton Act provides a little more clarity that was lacking in the Sherman Act. The FTC Act is a larger "umbrella" act that encompasses the other two. See the Federal Trade Commission's Guide to Antitrust Laws to learn more.
Research the Law
Arkansas Antitrust Laws: Related Resources
Contact a qualified attorney.