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The word "antitrust" sounds ominous, but in fact it simply refers to ’competition.’ Antitrust laws are designed to ensure that competition between businesses is fair, and that consumers are not disadvantaged by unfair business practices.
If you own a small business, antitrust laws may not seem like a concern, but it can be.
Businesses often benefit by collaborating with competitors – for example, a business owner gains valuable insights and education by belonging to a trade association. Businesses and their customers may also benefit from such things as mergers and exclusive distributorship agreements. But sometimes, these business arrangements harm competitors and become antitrust violations.
First let's look at the major legislation governing antitrust activities.
What is the bottom line? Violate antitrust laws and you could be fined and imprisoned.
How do you avoid violating antitrust laws?
For more information, ask your attorney for guidance relative to your industry and your specific business.