The Clayton Antitrust Act, the Federal Trade Commission's Act, and the Sherman Antitrust Act are the three main antitrust laws in the United States. However, only the Sherman Act carries criminal sanctions. The Sherman Act outlaws all contracts, combinations, and conspiracies that unreasonably restrain interstate trade. The principal examples of Sherman Act violations are Unfair Monopolies, agreements to Fix Prices, Predatory Pricing, Pre-arranged Bids, Collusive Bidding, Tying Arrangements, and illegal Exclusive Dealing Agreements.
In order to prove a violation of the Sherman Act, the government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that there was:
- An agreement; and
- The agreement unreasonably restrains competition; and
- Both of the above affect interstate commerce.
Sherman Act violations are often charged in conjunction with other crimes such as:
- Racketeering (RICO)
- Mail and Wire Fraud
- Tax Evasion
Sherman Act violations are felonies punishable under the United States Code. Individuals can be sentenced up to 3 years in prison and fined up to $350,000 for each act. Companies can be fined up to $10,000,000 per offense and can be dissolved as punishment for the violations.
If you have been charged with a Sherman Act violation, either separately or in conjunction with other crimes, give the attorneys at the federal criminal defense firm of Arnold Law Firm a call. Use our experience and expertise to help you in your defense. Our attorneys are licensed in Florida and Georgia federal courts, and we accept co-counsel cases throughout the country.
Listed below are the relevant sections of Title 15 regarding Anti-Trust laws.
§ 1. Trusts, etc., in restraint of trade illegal; penalty
Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal. Every person who shall make any contract or engage in any combination or conspiracy hereby declared to be illegal shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $100,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $1,000,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.
§ 2. Monopolizing trade a felony; penalty
Every person who shall monopolize, or attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons, to monopolize any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations, shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and, on conviction thereof, shall be punished by fine not exceeding $100,000,000 if a corporation, or, if any other person, $1,000,000, or by imprisonment not exceeding 10 years, or by both said punishments, in the discretion of the court.
Statutes above are up to date from www.law.cornell.edu as of October 1, 2009.