In Texas, franchisors’ and manufacturers’ business practices are subject to antitrust laws at the state and federal levels. These laws, including the Texas Fair Enterprise and Antitrust Act and the federal Sherman Act, prohibit large corporations with significant “market power” from using their power to take advantage of anti-competitive practices.
As a franchisee or dealer, operating subject to a franchisor’s or manufacturer’s anti-competitive practices can be the difference between failure and success. Unfortunately, despite touting the benefits of being a part of their “system,” franchisors and manufacturers routinely pursue business strategies and transactions that benefit themselves to the detriment of their franchisees and dealers. As a result, these franchisees and dealers are left with two less-than-desirable options: they can do nothing and watch their businesses continue to struggle; or, they can attempt to fight back in arbitration or litigation with a much larger corporation.
Antitrust Litigation Attorney for Franchisees and Dealers in Dallas, TX
With more than 30 years of antitrust and franchise litigation experience, attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein helps to turn the tables in his clients’ favor. Mr. Goldstein has successfully litigated cases against many of the world’s leading franchise systems, taking a strategic approach that focuses on maximizing the value of arbitration or litigation for his clients. Antitrust issues are complicated, and they take on new levels of complexity within the franchising context. Mr. Goldstein understands the issues and knows the legal arguments that can lead to results before arbitration panels and in state and federal court.
Top 10 Antitrust Issues in Franchising
In the franchising model, there are numerous issues that can have antitrust implications. Often, there is a fine line between protecting a legitimate business interest and illegal anti-competitive conduct, and knowing where this line is drawn is the first step toward making informed decisions about arbitration or litigation. While determining whether a franchisor or manufacturer has violated antitrust laws requires a careful analysis of the specific facts and circumstances at hand, some of the most common antitrust violations in franchising include the following:
- Customer Restrictions
- Discriminatory Prices or Terms of Sale
- Exclusive Territories and Distributorships
- Full Line Pricing
- Minimum Price Fixing
- Predatory Advertising
- Tying Arrangements
- Unilateral Refusals to Deal
- Wrongful Franchisee and Dealer Terminations
While state and federal authorities pursue enforcement actions for antitrust violations, (i) they do not pursue all violators (not even close), and (ii) enforcement actions do not necessarily result in adequate remedies for the franchisees and dealers affected by the anti-competitive conduct. For these reasons, antitrust laws include “private right of action” provisions that give franchisees, dealers and other parties the ability to sue for damages and other forms of relief. If you believe that your franchisor or manufacturer is violating antitrust laws, Mr. Goldstein can help you pursue an appropriate course of action to seek damages, restitution and injunctive relief against future illegal activity.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Attorney Jeffrey M. Goldstein
If you would like to speak with Mr. Goldstein about your franchisor’s or manufacturer’s antitrust violations, you can contact the Goldstein Law Firm for a free and consultation. To schedule an appointment, please call (202) 293-3947 or get in touch online today.