Federal Violation of the Anti-Trust Law – 15 USC Section 1
Basically, when it comes to violating the anti-trust laws in a federal setting, what the government is looking to protect against is entities or individuals who are conspiring to basically have a monopoly on some sort of trade. The government of the United States zealously defends the ability of people to be in the market and there to be competition and fair trade.
When someone or some entity attempts to get some sort of an anti-trust situation where they are trying to create a monopoly, the federal government will come in and arrest those individuals involved in that.
If you're being investigated for a violation of the anti-trust laws, your best bet is to get in front of an attorney who has handled these types of cases before and can best advise you. Sometimes you have defenses to these crimes and you did not actually have the will to violate the anti-trust laws.
Sometimes people make mistakes and do things without criminal intent or purpose. This is when you need your criminal defense attorney to fight for you to get the best possible resolution of your case and see if the government can be convinced to dismiss the case and issue a warning against you.
Penalties for Violating Antitrust Laws
When it comes to a person who makes a contract or engages in some sort of a conspiracy where the government deems that they're attempting to violate the trade laws or commerce laws of the United States, that person can be found guilty of a felony.
If they're convicted, they can receive punishments of up to a million dollars per person and a hundred million dollars per corporation and can be facing up to ten years in federal prison at the discretion of the sentencing judge in the federal court.
As you can see, these punishments are extremely serious and the reason that they are so harsh is because the government believes that these anti-trust laws are there to protect the fabric of our society and our trade which directly affects the economy of the United States.
Therefore, if you are charged with one of these crimes, you should immediately seek the advice of an attorney, make no statements to the government and let your attorney deal with how your matter should be defended and what steps need to be taken to get you the best possible outcome.
When I meet with clients related to anti-trust violations, I have them come into my office. We sit down, we go over every aspect of their case – hopefully, I can get myself a copy of the paperwork related to the case and the discovery – and then after we both review it, we go over it piece by piece. I obviously ask that my clients are honest with me and give me all the details necessary for me to properly defend them.
Putting a spin on things or attempting to omit certain facts that you don't like are certainly not going to help you in the long run. If I can obtain all the information, then I'll be in the best position to defend you and utilize my twenty-five years of experience in the federal courts across the United States. Once we have a meeting of the minds as to exactly how the defense is going to proceed and we're both working together towards the same goal, then you should be able to get a peace of mind and feel control in reference to the defense of your federal criminal case.
The Sherman Antitrust Act
A Section 1 violation has three elements:
(2)which unreasonably restrains competition
(3)and which affects interstate commerce.
A Section 2 violation has 2 elements:
(1) the possession of monopoly power in the relevant market and (2) the willful acquisition or maintenance of that power as distinguished from growth or development as a consequence of a superior product, business acumen, or historic accident.
The Clayton Act
First passed in 1914, the Clayton Act was revised in 1950. The Clayton Act is a major civil statute intended to protect competition and to keep prices from skyrocketing due to mergers, acquisitions, or other business practices. By giving the government the authority to challenge large-scales moves made by corporations, the Clayton Act provides a barrier against monopolistic practices.
The Federal Trade Commission Act
Like the Clayton Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 is a civil statute. It governs interstate commerce, attempting to maintain healthy economic competition in that realm. The act established the Federal Trade Commission, a body that enforces the Federal Trade Commission Act's stipulations.
In addition to these three acts, antitrust violators may be found guilty of criminal activity or civil wrongdoing through other laws. Some of the other possible charges include: perjury, obstruction of justice, making false statements to the government, mail fraud, and conspiracy.