An antitrust lawsuit is any suit filed under federal or state antitrust laws. The lawsuit can be brought by a company’s competitors for anticompetitive business practices, or by purchasers of a product or service, if the anticompetitive practice may have increased the price they paid.
A consumer may have paid an inflated price because several competitors in a market conspired to fix prices, by agreeing not to undercut each other on price. Or a consumer might have paid too much because a single company abused its monopoly power in a way prohibited by antitrust law. A consumer may have also overpaid because competitors engaged in market division by agreeing not to compete in each other’s geographic markets.
Under the Clayton Antitrust Act, a purchaser can bring a class action lawsuit seeking treble damages, equal to three times the amount the company made through its anticompetitive conduct.