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.
Typically, antitrust laws are invoked when a company announces a merger or acquisition of another large company, creating a virtual monopoly.
North Dakota Antitrust Laws
State laws also prohibit monopolies. Modeled on federal statutory provisions, North Dakota antitrust laws prohibit:
The North Dakota Attorney General's Office is responsible for civil and criminal enforcement of the state's antitrust laws, and has authority to file civil actions under federal antitrust statutes and to review mergers and other anticompetitve conduct.
The basic provisions of North Dakota's antitrust laws are detailed in the following table. See FindLaw's Consumer Protection section to learn more.
|Antitrust Code Section||51-08.1-01, et seq. Uniform State Antitrust Act|
|Acts Prohibited by Statute||
|State Penalties for Offenses||The attorney general, or a state's attorney with the permission or at the request of the attorney general, may bring an action for appropriate injunctive relief and civil penalties in the name of the state for a violation of this chapter. The trier of fact may assess for the benefit of the state a civil penalty of not more than $50 for each violation of this chapter.|
|Is a Private Lawsuit Possible?||
A person threatened with injury or injured in that person's business or property by a violation of this chapter may bring an action for appropriate injunctive or other equitable relief, damages sustained and, as determined by the court, taxable costs and reasonable attorney's fees. If the trier of fact finds that the violation is flagrant, it may increase recovery to an amount not in excess of three times the damages sustained.
|Time Limit to Bring Claim||4 yrs. or 1 yr. after conclusion of action by state|
Note: State laws are always subject to change, usually through the enactment of new legislation or voter-approved ballot initiatives. You may want to contact a North Dakota antitrust attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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North Dakota Antitrust Law: Related Resources
Contact a qualified attorney.