Antitrust refers to the regulation of the concentration of economic power, particularly in regard to monopolies and other anticompetitive practices. Antitrust laws exist as both  federal statutes and state statutes. The three key federal statutes in Antitrust Law are;

Many states have adopted antitrust statutes that parallel the Sherman Antitrust Act to prevent anticompetitive behavior within individual states. For example, California’s Cartwright Act is very similar to the Sherman Act.  

Violating antitrust laws carry both criminal and civil penalties though in practice civil penalties are more common. When they occur, criminal prosecutions are limited to intentional and clear violations. Criminal penalties can include up to 10 years in prison and fines of up to $100,000,000 for corporations and $1,000,000 for individuals. In practice, combined with civil penalties, actual fines for violating antitrust laws can be far higher and occasionally reach into the billions

For more in-depth information, see Antitrust laws.

[Last updated in June of 2022 by the Wex Definitions Team]

menu of sources

Federal Material

U.S. Constitution and Federal Statutes

Federal Judicial Decisions

State Material

State Statutes

State Judicial Decisions

Other References

Key Internet Sources

Useful Offnet (or Subscription - $) Sources

  • Good Starting Point in Print: Thomas V. Vakerics, Antitrust Basics, New York Law Publishing Company (1985).

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Category: Enterprise Law