Price Fixing Antitrust Litigation Attorney Serving California and Nationwide
Price fixing is prohibited conduct under California and federal antitrust and consumer protection laws. When competitors get together to set prices or other business terms, customers and consumers are harmed. The market needs free competition to work, and when customers are robbed of that competition, they wind up paying more for lower-quality goods and services.
Whether you have an individual complaint about price fixing or you have endured harm similar to dozens, hundreds, or thousands of other victims, the Kalfayan Law Firm is ready to help you seek remuneration and justice. For help in California or across the United States, call our office in Del Mar just north of San Diego for a free consultation at 619-232-0331.
What Is Price Fixing?
Price fixing refers to an agreement between would-be competitors to artificially alter prices. Agreements can be explicit, either verbal or written, or they can be implicit, so long as they are intentional. Price fixing is prohibited under state and federal antitrust and consumer protection laws.
Price-fixing agreements harm consumers and other customers because they inhibit market freedom and competition. Competitor companies in the same market should be forced to actually compete in order to incentivize lower prices and higher-quality goods and services. Prices should be set by natural market forces like supply and demand. When competitors agree to set certain prices, or that prices will not go below a certain level (or above, for purchasers), customers are left with artificially high prices and lower-quality goods and services.
Proving Unlawful Price Fixing
Price fixing can be difficult to prove. It’s rare to find a smoking gun email or literal “agreement” to set prices at a certain level. They are more commonly proven through circumstantial evidence of unreasonable or unusual pricing, artificial pricing trends, and evidence of communication between competitors.
For example, if two competitors have an inexplicable pattern of identical contract terms–including prices, fees, discounts, warranties, etc.–without independent, legitimate business reasons justifying those trends, unlawful price fixing may be to blame. Invitations to coordinate pricing might also be illegal, such as when one company publicly announces its intention to end a price war or to set prices above a certain level if competitors do as well. Price fixing can also involve intentionally reducing supply, setting a maximum price to buy from suppliers, or setting the price of a particular service or component of an overall service.
Not all identical pricing necessarily means that unlawful price fixing is to blame. Many goods and services are functionally identical, with similar costs and supply, so natural market forces can result in similar prices. Market changes, such as a decrease in supply or an increase in consumer demand, can lead to prices moving uniformly even though competitors are acting independently.
Proving unlawful price fixing requires a deep understanding of the law and the underlying financial circumstances. A seasoned price fixing antitrust lawyer at the Kalfayan Law Firm can help you review the market and unusual trends to determine if any unlawful price fixing may be to blame, and what remedies you may have available.
Bringing Legal Claims for Unlawful Price Fixing
Among other laws, California’s Cartwright Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act (FTCA), and the Sherman Act prohibit unlawful antitrust conduct and unfair or deceptive acts, practices, and methods of competition. Naked price fixing or price fixing otherwise resulting from collusion is illegal, and if you’ve been harmed by illegal price fixing, you could have a claim for damages.
California’s Cartwright Act allows parties harmed by price fixing and other anti-competitive conduct to sue for damages. Private parties with a right of action can include competitors alleging unfair competition, as well as consumers who allege that price fixing and other restraints on trade have harmed them and other customers by artificially inflating prices.
If you believe you’ve been hurt by illegal price fixing, call an experienced California price fixing and unfair competition attorney for advice and representation.
Call a Price Fixing Antitrust Lawyer at the Kalfayan Law Firm Today
For help with a price-fixing claim in California or nationwide, whether an individual complaint or possible class action, contact the Kalfayan Law Firm in San Diego/Del Mar for a free consultation. We represent local individual plaintiffs and pursue class action litigation throughout the country with a commitment and dedication to seeing the case through to the end.