The Cartwright Act is the primary California state antitrust law prohibiting anti-competitive activity, mirroring federal antitrust laws the Sherman Antitrust Act and the Clayton Antitrust Act. The Act prohibits any agreements among competitors to restrain trade, fix prices or production, or lessen competition.
Under the Cartwright Act, private parties may pursue litigation against companies violating the Act.
Prohibited Antitrust Activities under the CA Cartwright Act
The Cartwright Act prohibits combinations of two or more persons’ capital, skill, or acts to restrict trade or commerce. Where the Sherman Act prohibits only “restraints of trade,” the Cartwright Act is more detailed in its list of prohibited actions. These include:
- Price Fixing: agreement between competitors to buy or sell products, services, or commodities at a fixed price or rate
- Group Boycotting: competitors agreeing to boycott a certain entity
- Market Division Scheme: agreement between competitors to divide markets, products, customers or territories amongst themselves
- Exclusive Dealings: requiring a buyer or seller to do buy or sell all or most of a certain product from a single supplier
- Price Discrimination: similar goods to buyers at different prices
- Tying: selling a product or service on the condition that the buyer agrees to also buy a different product or service