U.S. Supreme Court decision confirming the dissolution of the Standard Oil Trust, because its monopoly position was an unreasonable restraint on trade under the Sherman Antitrust Act.
A criminal violation of federal antitrust statutes, in which several competing businesses agree to set prices for their products to prevent real competition and keep the public from benefiting from price competition. (See also: antitrust laws)
A federal government agency established to regulate business practices and enforce antitrust laws. The FTC often shows up in the news when big businesses attempt to merge, but it also plays a role in protecting consumers from unfair business practices, including actions by collection agencies and credit bureaus. While the FTC generally does not have authority to intervene in specific consumer disputes, it can take action against a company about which it has received numerous consumer complaints.
A written contract in which the owner of a patent, copyright, trademark, or trade secret authorizes, for a limited time, someone (the licensee) to exclusively exercise one or more of the rights. For example, the copyright owner of a comic book may exclusively license the video game rights to a game company. Once a license terminates, the owner regains the rights. Compare: assignment
The partial or full removal of an asset or investment from a business' books. Businesses can divest through sale, closure or bankruptcy. May also refer to a change in corporate strategy or a withdrawal from certain investment goals.
The disposition or sale of an asset by a company or government entity. It may be voluntary or ordered by a court.
Price-fixing between competitors that occurs without an actual agreement between the parties. For instance, one company raises its price for a service and other competitors do the same. Can also be used to describe imitative activity over terms other than price. For example, one airline starts to require double miles for domestic trips and other airlines follow suit.
A collaborative agreement, usually secret, amongst rivals to prevent open competition through deceptive means in order to gain a market advantage. The parties may collude by agreeing to fix prices, limit or restrict supply, share insider information, or divide the market.
A group of independent corporations or other entities that join together to fix prices, control distribution, or reduce competition. For example, OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) is an intergovernmental organization that represents 13 oil producing countries. Many private (nongovernmental) cartels operate behind a veil of secrecy, particularly because they are illegal under United States antitrust laws (the Sherman and Clayton Acts).
Federal and state laws created to regulate trade and commerce by preventing unlawful restraints, price-fixing, and monopolies. The laws are intended to promote healthy market competition and encourage the production of quality goods and services at the lowest prices. The primary federal antitrust laws are the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act.