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New Jersey Antitrust Laws

Trusts are very large companies without much (or any) competition, which tends to result in high prices and stagnation. Therefore, it is in the consumers' best interests to prevent the formation of such trusts. State antitrust laws attempt to do this by preventing certain mergers and acquisitions that would have a detrimental effect on the market as a whole.

The New Jersey Antitrust Act gives the attorney general the power to institute antitrust proceedings. This act, codified in section 56:9 of the New Jersey Code, addresses the following business activities considered to monopolistic or otherwise infringing upon antitrust law:

  • Contractual Restraint of Trade - Contracts or other devices, including conspiracy, used to restrain trade or commerce. 

  • Monopolies - Attempts to combine or conspire with any entities to monopolize trade or commerce.

  • Unlawful Acquisitions - Acquisitions that have the effect of "substantially" lessening competition within the state.

The New Jersey statute also lists certain permitted activities that may otherwise seem to violate the New Jersey Antitrust Act. Primarily, these include co-ops, labor organizations, public utilities, and similar organizations whose purpose is to provide mutual help. For example, many labor unions represent most individuals in a given profession, but their  mission is to help all members equally.

Violations of New Jersey antitrust laws may prompt the state Attorney General to institute legal proceedings against the offender, which may include a forfeiture of charter rights, dissolution of the corporation, or lose of privilege to do business within the state. Depending on the severity of the offense, penalties may be temporary.New Jersey's antitrust law is summarized in the table below, with links to related articles and sources.

Antitrust Code Section New Jersey Antitrust Act: 56:9-1, et seq.
Is a Private Lawsuit Possible? Yes; attorney general power to institute proceedings
Time Limit to Bring Claim 4 yrs.
Can a Successful Plaintiff Recover Attorneys' Fees? Yes

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a New Jersey antitrust attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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