In the context of business and commerce, a trust is a corporation or other large business entity or agreement among businesses motivated by the goal of eliminating competition. While beating the competition is just business as usual, and a sign of success, actively seeking unfair ways of crushing the competition in order to secure an advantage is illegal under federal and state antitrust laws. For example, Google is a major player in online search technology and considered the most dominant but it is not considered a trust because there have been no findings of illegal trust activity or collusion with other companies. When federal and state regulators determine that a business entity is an illegal trust, they typically break them up into smaller companies.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) handles the majority of antitrust cases, since they tend to be national (and international) in scope. Meanwhile, state courts usually handle antitrust cases that are more localized and don't involve interstate commerce.
The Basics of Nebraska Antitrust Law
Nebraska prohibits monopolies, combinations, and any other means of restraining trade or commerce, charging each offense as a Class IV felony. Any business or individual convicted of violating state antitrust law a second time will be prohibited from doing business in the state. Additional details of Nebraska antitrust law are listed in the following chart.
|Antitrust Code Section||59-801, et seq.|
|Statutory Definition of Illegal Trust||Any "contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce"|
|Classification of Crime & Penalties||Class IV felony; up to 5 years in prison and/or up to $10,000 fine (upon second conviction, the business or individual will be barred from doing business within the state)|
|Is a Private Lawsuit Possible?||Yes; attorney general power to enforce|
|Time Limit to Bring Claim||Not specified|
|Can a Successful Plaintiff Recover Attorneys' Fees?||Yes|
Note: State laws are constantly changing through the enactment of newly signed legislation or ballot initiatives, decisions from appellate courts, and other means. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these pages, you may also want to contact a Nebraska antitrust and trade regulation attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Nebraska Antitrust Law: Related Resources
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