Georgia Antitrust Laws

Antitrust Laws in General

Antitrust laws are meant to discourage large business entities (monopolies or trusts) from having so much market share that they stifle competition. Antitrust regulations generally prevent large mergers that their respective state attorneys believe may hurt consumers by limiting choice. Those injured by trusts or monopolistic behavior usually may sue for damages.  

Georgia Antitrust Laws: An Overview

Georgia antitrust laws are encoded in the state's Fair Business Practices Act and mainly govern real estate transactions. For the most part, Georgia's antitrust laws serve as a complement to federal antitrust laws, which are encoded in the Sherman Act and Clayton Act. Under Georgia law, a private lawsuit may be filed against a party for alleged antitrust violation at the same time a federal action is pending. The state typically allows aggrieved parties to file suit for fraud. However, the state's Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act may be invoked for antitrust lawsuits involving real estate.

Federal Antitrust Laws

Federal antitrust laws generally prohibit any conspiracy or concerted effort to restrain trade, while also limiting the ability of large corporations to make acquisitions that would severely limit competition. Specifically, the Sherman Act imposes a steep fine ($100,000,000 if a corporation) and possible 10-year prison sentence for an illegal "trust... or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce." Passage of the Clayton Act, meanwhile, created the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which is responsible for reviewing complaints and approving corporate mergers. See FTC's Guide to Antitrust Laws to learn more about federal statutes and enforcement measures.

The following table highlights some of the main provisions of Georgia antitrust laws. See FindLaw's Business Regulations section for more information.

Antitrust Code Section 13-8-31, et seq.
Is a Private Lawsuit Possible? Unfair competition, restraint of trade for distributors, dealers, and their representatives doing business in Georgia of farm equipment and/or machinery
Time Limit to Bring Claim Not specified
Can a Successful Plaintiff Recover Attorneys' Fees? Not specified

Note: State laws are always subject to change, usually through the enactment of new legislation but sometimes through the decisions of higher courts or other means. You may want to contact a Georgia antitrust attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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