The word "trust" can mean many things, but in the context of business and commerce a trust is large business entity engaged in monopolistic activities and without competition. Therefore, antitrust laws are meant to prevent the formation of trusts and encourage greater competition for the good of consumers. When a company announces its intention to merge with or acquire another company -- and the combined entity would create a virtual monopoly -- antitrust laws may be used to block the deal.
Antitrust laws also prohibit two or more companies from colluding in order to fix prices or agreeing to certain territories in order to mutually avoid competition. Essentially, any act done for the sole purpose of unreasonably restraining competition is a violation of antitrust law under most state laws.
Minnesota Antitrust Law of 1971: Overview
Minnesota's antitrust law is similar to federal antitrust regulations, in that it prohibits monopolies, price fixing, collusion among competitors, and other acts that would restrain trade and commerce unfairly. The law provides both civil and criminal penalties, as well as the right to sue for damages. In fact, state law allows plaintiffs to sue for triple the actual damages sustained, in addition to attorneys' fees and other costs.
The following chart provides additional details.
|Antitrust Code Section||Minnesota Antitrust Law of 1971: 325D.49, et seq.|
|Criminal Penalties||Felony; fine of up $50,000 and/or up to seven years in prison|
|Is a Private Lawsuit Possible?||Yes; attorney general also enforces|
|Time Limit to Bring Claim||4 yrs.|
|Can a Successful Plaintiff Recover Attorneys' Fees?||Yes|
Note: State laws are constantly changing. While FindLaw makes every effort to keep these pages up-to-date, you also may want to contact a Minnesota antitrust attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Federal Antitrust Laws at a Glance
The federal government also enforces antitrust laws, primarily the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act. Together, these laws are used to investigate potential mergers and acquisitions, allegations of price-fixing, and other violations affecting interstate commerce. Federal law also allows state attorneys general to sue on behalf of their respective state.
Research the Law
Minnesota Antitrust Laws: Related Resources
Contact a qualified attorney.