Explains the Career of a Securities Lawyer: When and How Do Antitrust Violations Happen?

Competition law is a branch of law that encourages competition between businesses and prevents monopolies. When corporations work together to stifle competition, free trade and innovation, their actions are generally considered illegal.

If you’ve ever wondered what an antitrust attorney does and how they help people get justice, read an article about the most common violations in antitrust law.

How do companies break antitrust laws?

Most violations are committed by organizations looking for ways to stifle competition, with the most common violations being those listed in the sections below.


When companies, wholesalers, sellers and manufacturers agree to raise or fix prices, it is illegal. Price fixing not only eliminates competition, it also raises prices for consumers. It can take the form of:

  • Excessive processing, shipping and handling fees

  • Unfair warranty conditions

  • Deep discounts and sales that prevent other businesses from remaining competitive (also known as predatory pricing)

  • Increase production capacity and exclude small businesses from the market

Price fixing is illegal because it reduces the incentive for companies to innovate and can lead to monopolies. According to US antitrust law, companies must set terms and prices based on market conditions, not in collaboration with each other.

Rig offers

In this form of antitrust activity, bidders coordinate when vying for business contracts. Bid-rigging typically occurs when companies decide who will receive a contract before it goes to auction, and this practice destroys the integrity of the bidding process. It can take many forms, including:

  • Decide who will win in advance

  • Submitting very high bids with no intention of following through

  • Agree not to bid

  • Subcontracting to losing bidders

Rigging can occur when tenders are solicited for government procurement contracts, construction projects, and in other instances. According to, most bid-rigging schemes focus on deals that suppress competition and preselect a winner.

Building Monopolies

Monopolization is the illegal effort of a company to impede competition and maintain control over the market. Fortunately, antitrust laws prevent the establishment of monopolies. Being a market leader is not enough to be found guilty of monopolization, because those who suffer losses must prove that the company’s behavior is illegal.

Distribution of customers

Illegal customer allocation and market division schemes involve cooperation between companies that have divided their territories or customer bases. These agreements have only one purpose: to reduce or eliminate competition. A Sidley Austin antitrust attorney will represent business owners who have suffered financial loss due to unfair client allocation practices.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Mergers and acquisitions or mergers and acquisitions are, for the most part, legal events. However, when a merger or takeover reduces competition or leads to a monopoly, it is illegal. Mergers sometimes lead to reduced quality, less innovation and higher consumer prices. If one wonders how to become an antitrust lawyer, one will have to learn about mergers, acquisitions and monopolies.

These are the most common violations of antitrust laws, and there are others to consider. By becoming an antitrust lawyer, one will do his part to fight against monopolization and keep the business world fair for all.

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