Antitrust law encompasses a variety of both federal and state regulations that are meant to promote and protect competition. Competition, in turn, benefits the consumers by providing competitive prices. A number of benchmarks, such as the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 and the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, remain in effect today.
Understanding and effectively practicing antitrust law requires a specific skill set. Although the actual number of antitrust laws may be limited, the application is challenging. Practicing antitrust law requires a clear understanding of what constitutes an antitrust violation, which is not always obvious depending on the industry at hand. Certain industries, such as utilities, for example, are exempt from antitrust laws where it has been deemed that competition actually lowers efficiency.
But, not all attempts at monopolization are as easy to observe as the classic “merger” example (e.g. horizontal or vertical integration which consolidates parts of the market). Pricing issues, such as undercutting, can also effectively contribute to monopolization of the market. Companies’ dealings with each other, such as “tying” goods or preventing access to certain necessary goods or facilities, could potentially constitute monopolization, depending on the factors at play. Monopolization does not also always have to involve physical industries – it can also involve intellectual property and other “intangible” factors.
At KHF, you will work with lawyers who have the legal and industry acumen necessary to understand antitrust law, as well as the diligence to gather and analyze the information needed to grasp the situation at hand. Whether you require advice throughout the merger/acquisition process to ensure no antitrust laws will be broken by your deal, or whether you need guidance in pursuing an antitrust violation case or defending yourself against one, the attorneys at KHF are ready and able to assist you.