A trust is a very large business entity that has no real competition, often through acquisitions of competitors or other, more nefarious means. Generally speaking, trusts stifle innovation, result in higher retail prices, and provide fewer choices for consumers. Federal and state antitrust laws, therefore, are intended to prevent the formation of trusts by regulating business activities that may create a trust, such as large corporate mergers. Since large corporations usually cross state lines, most antitrust enforcement comes from the federal government.
What Are Colorado's Antitrust Laws?
Under the Colorado Antitrust Act of 1992, the state's Attorney General may initiate civil and/or criminal actions to prevent antitrust violations. The time limit for filing criminal charges is six years, and four years for civil actions. The Antitrust Act prohibits or regulates the following acts:
Additional details about Colorado antitrust law, with references to specific code sections, are listed in following table.
|Antitrust Code Section||Unfair Practices Act, 6-2-101, et seq.; 6-4-101, et seq.|
|Is a Private Lawsuit Possible?||Yes; attorney general may bring action on behalf of state 6-2-111|
|Time Limit to Bring Claim||6 yrs. for criminal actions brought by attorney general; 4 yrs. for civil actions|
|Can a Successful Plaintiff Recover Attorneys' Fees?||No, 6-2-111; 6-4-114(3)|
Note: State laws are always subject to change and may do so through the passage of new legislation, a higher court's ruling, ballot initiative, or other means. Be sure to contact a Colorado antitrust lawyer or consumer protection attorney, or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Federal Antitrust Laws at a Glance
Federal law enforces three main laws meant to discourage the creation of trusts: the Sherman Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and the Clayton Act. Together, these laws prevent unlawful mergers and acquisitions, conspiracies or attempts to create monopolies, deceptive acts that restrain trade, and other acts that unfairly restrain trade. The Clayton Act specifically addresses interlocking directorates, or the act of one individual making business decisions for competing businesses. See the Federal Trade Commission's guide to federal antitrust laws to learn more.
Colorado Antitrust Laws: Related Resources
Contact a qualified attorney.