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Minnesota Deceptive Trade Practices Laws

In addition to antitrust laws, businesses are prohibited from engaging in trade practices considered deceptive, such as tampering with a car's odometer or selling used goods as new. Minnesota and many other states have adopted the Federal Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act (UDTPA), originally passed in 1964 and revised in 1966.

Minnesota Deceptive Trade Practice Law at a Glance

Minnesota law spells out a number of different violations that are considered unfair restraint of trade, discriminatory practices, and acts in violation of the Minnesota Antitrust Law of 1971 (a part of the larger Restraint of Trade statute). Unfair or deceptive trade practices, according to Minnesota state law, include:

  • Selling goods or services below cost
  • Misleading consumers about the quality, ingredients, origin of merchandise
  • Unfair cigarette sales (selling at less than cost, etc.)
  • Unreasonable restraint of trade through conspiracies with other businesses
  • Monopolization of food products

The following chart lists additional provisions of Minnesota's deceptive trade practice laws, with links to additional resources. See FindLaw's Consumer Protection section for related information.

Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act Adopted Yes (§§325D.43-48)
False Advertising Forbidden Yes (§325 D.44)
Who May Bring Suit Attorney general, county attorney (§325 F.70); any person likely to be damaged (§325 D.45)
Remedies Available Injunction (§325 F.70); court costs, attorney's fees (§325 D.45)
Auto Odometer Tampering Forbidden Yes (§325 E.14); Gross misdemeanor, actual damages, costs and disbursements, attorney's fees; court has discretion to award an amount for damages not to exceed three times active damages or $1,500, whichever is greater. (§325 E.16)

Note: State laws are always changing, whether through new legislation, higher court rulings, or ballot initiatives. As a precaution, you may want to contact a Minnesota consumer protection attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

How Do I File a Consumer Complaint in Minnesota?

The Minnesota Attorney General's office provides a good explanation of its consumer complaint process, with links to the necessary forms, contact information, and step-by-step instructions for filing your complaint. Call their office at (651) 296-3353 if have additional questions.

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