The American economy is based on capitalism, a system that requires business competition. Restraining free trade can disrupt that economic model. Therefore, federal and state antitrust laws have been developed to protect consumers and prevent businesses from obtaining an unfair advantage in the marketplace. These antitrust laws prohibit the creation of monopolies and agreements between companies that reduce competition.
How to Make an Antitrust Violation Complaint in Mississippi
In Mississippi, the state agency that investigates and enforces the antitrust laws is the Office of the Attorney General. If you want, you can file a complaint about a business online. For more information, call the Attorney General’s Office at 601-359-4230.
The chart below details the antitrust laws in Mississippi.
|Code Sections||Mississippi Code Title 75, Chapter 21: Trusts and Combines in Restraint or Hindrance of Trade|
|What is Prohibited?||Corporations and individuals in trade can’t enter into a contract or agreement of any kind which would in effect do any of the following:
Public contract fraud is also prohibited. Corporations and individuals can’t combine with others to bid on public contracts to exclude other companies or individuals from bidding on public works (state, county, or city) or pursued others not to bid.
|Penalties||Trusts or conspiracies as described above are penalized by a fine of $100 to $5,000 for the first offense and a fine of $200 to $10,000 for the second or subsequent offense. Each month can be a separate violation.
Additional penalties include:
Public contract fraud is a misdemeanor with a fine of $25 to $1,000.
|Private Lawsuits||While the attorney general or an authorized district attorney can enforce civil and criminal antitrust laws, private persons and individuals can also sue for any damages or financial losses they suffered due to the violation of these laws. In addition to the damages, a penalty of $500 can be awarded. One or more parties to the trust, including officers and representatives, can be sued.|
|Attorney Fees||Yes, attorney fees, to cover the Attorney General’s expenses in bringing an antitrust violation lawsuit are permissible. Also, if the state contracts with an attorney to provide legal services to it, they may have to pay for that service. However, an individual’s personal attorney fees to recover damages aren’t statutorily required to be covered.|
Antitrust laws are complicated. If you believe you were wronged by a business violating these antitrust laws, you should consult with an experienced Mississippi antitrust lawyer.
Note: State laws are regularly revised, so it’s best to contact an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify these state laws.
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