As consumers, we can all understand how businesses artificially inflating or fixing prices to prevent new businesses from developing or charging exuberant amounts for necessary goods during a disaster (price gouging) is terribly unfair. It’s also illegal. Federal and state antitrust laws prevent businesses from these types of bad acts.
The major federal laws in this area are the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Clayton Act, and the Federal Trade Commission Act. These antitrust laws stop the harmful effects of monopolies and lack of business competition by prohibiting things like bid rigging for contracts, creating monopolies, boycotting a company within an industry to prevent new competitors from succeeding, etc.
Oregon also regulates trade through antitrust laws. The following table explains some of the main antitrust laws in Oregon that consumers want to know.
|Code Sections||Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 646 – Trade Practices and Antitrust Regulation|
|What is Prohibited?||Many business behaviors that restrain free markets are prohibited by Oregon law, including, but not limited to:
|Private Lawsuits||Oregon law does permit a private lawsuit against an antitrust law violator. The Oregon Department of Justice is the agency with the power to enforce these laws. For example, the Attorney General sued a number of LCD manufactures starting in 2010 for antitrust violations with LCD products. Individual consumers can also sue for equitable relief, such as financial losses they incurred due to the antitrust acts.|
|Time Limit to Bring Claim||The time limit to sue an antitrust violator, also known as the statute of limitations, is four years or within one year after the end of any cases based on the same matter in federal court.|
|Attorney Fees||The state and individual consumers can have their reasonable attorney's fees, expert's fees, and investigative fees paid by the defendant(s) if they win their case. Defendants can also be awarded attorney’s fees and other fees when there was no objectively reasonable basis for the antitrust lawsuit by the Attorney General.|
If you feel a company or companies violated antitrust laws in Oregon, you should consult with an experienced local antitrust lawyer to learn more about your options to sue.
Note: Federal and state laws often change, which is why it’s important to conduct your own legal research to verify any law(s) you’re researching or contact a knowledgeable attorney.
Research the Law
Contact a qualified attorney.