Los Angeles Antitrust
Antitrust is a complex area of the law that has significant implications in the world of franchising. As a franchisee, California and U.S. federal antitrust laws help protect you against unfair and anti-competitive practices by your franchisor. While state and federal authorities enforce these antitrust laws, franchisees also have a “private right of action” to sue for antitrust violations, and in many cases taking legal action is the only way for a franchisee (or group of franchisees) to stop a franchisor’s illegal conduct from harming their businesses.
Attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein has been representing franchisees and dealers in antitrust litigation for more than 30 years. While demonstrating that a franchisor has the requisite “market power” for its anti-competitive practices to have antitrust implications can be a challenge, Mr. Goldstein has found success for his clients in several cases. Franchisors will often go to great lengths to conceal their anti-competitive conduct, and Mr. Goldstein has been successful in uncovering the proof needed to prove his clients’ antitrust suspicions as well.
What is Antitrust?
Antitrust is an area of the law that regulates unfair and anti-competitive business practices in order to protect consumers against the harmful effects of inadequate market competition. Antitrust laws exist at the state (i.e. the California Unfair Competition Law) and federal (i.e. the Sherman Act) levels, and they prohibit a number of different practices that can have adverse consequences for franchisees and their customers.
What are Some Examples of Antitrust Violations?
Antitrust violations can take numerous forms. In the context of the franchise relationship – and anti-competitive practices that can be harmful to franchisees – some of the most common violations committed by franchisors include:
- Unilateral Refusals to Deal
- Tying Arrangements
- Minimum Price Fixing
- Customer Restrictions
- Exclusive Territories and Exclusive Distributorships
- Exclusive Dealerships
- Agreements on Terms of Trade
- Full Line Pricing
- Discriminatory Prices or Terms of Sale
- Franchisee and Dealer Terminations
- Predatory Advertising
What Can Franchisees Do if They Suspect an Antitrust Violation?
If you suspect that your franchisor may be violating California or U.S. federal antitrust laws, it is important that you speak with an attorney promptly. You may have a right to sue to stop your franchisor’s unlawful practices; but, if your franchisor has been concealing these practices, you could be running up against the statute of limitations. At the Goldstein Law Firm, we can use our experience to quickly assess your case and help you determine whether it is in your best interests to pursue litigation.
What Remedies are Available in Private Antitrust Litigation?
The remedies available will depend upon the specific statutes at play and the unique facts and circumstances involved in your case. Generally speaking, however, potential remedies in private antitrust litigation include:
- Injunctive relief (i.e. to stop the anti-competitive activity)
Contact the Goldstein Law Firm
If you own a franchise in Los Angeles and would like more information about pursuing an antitrust case against your franchisor, we encourage you to contact us for a complimentary initial consultation. To speak with national franchise lawyer Jeffrey M. Goldstein in confidence, please call (202) 293-3947 or get in touch online today.