There are several federal antitrust laws that govern interstate commerce and ensure fair competition and integrity in the marketplace.
- Sherman Antitrust Act
The Sherman Act was enacted in 1890 and is the principal federal antitrust law. The Sherman Act outlaws all contracts, combinations, and conspiracies that unreasonably restrain trade, including monopolization of any market. Violations may be prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division.
- Clayton Antitrust Act
The Clayton Act was enacted in 1914 and addresses specific practices not clearly prohibited by the Sherman Act. The Clayton Act authorizes private parties to sue for triple damages when they are harmed by violations of the Sherman or Clayton Act.
- Federal Trade Commission Act
The Federal Trade Commission Act prohibits unfair methods of competition in interstate commerce. The Supreme Court has said that all violations of the Sherman Act also violate the Federal Trade Commission Act. The Act also created the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), one of the primary government enforcement bodies of federal antitrust law violations.
- Lanham “Trademark” Act
The Lanham Act, also known as the U.S. Trademark Act, protects interstate competition by prohibiting false or misleading advertising in the marketplace.
- Robinson-Patman Act
The Robinson-Patman Act prohibits unlawful price discrimination in interstate commerce.
State Antitrust Laws
Many states have their own antitrust laws that closely resemble their federal counterparts.
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