Antitrust » Anticompetitive Group Boycott Schemes

Anticompetitive Group Boycott Schemes

A group boycott occurs when two or more competitors in a relevant market refuse to conduct business with a specific individual or company. Individual companies may always unilaterally decide to stop doing business with another company, but agreements between competitors may violate antitrust laws.

Group boycotts can be used to prevent new competitors from entering the market, or to disadvantage existing competitors. They can also be used to implement price fixing agreements, where competitors may collectively attempt to raise prices or reimbursement rates.

Law Prohibiting Group Boycotts

Anticompetitive group boycott schemes violate federal antitrust law, notably the Sherman Antitrust Act, and are prohibited by state antitrust law, including the Cartwright Act in California.

Under federal and some state laws, private parties (businesses or consumers) who believe they were harmed by anticompetitive conduct can bring antitrust lawsuits seeking damages (in some instance treble damages) and injunctive relief.

Victim of a Group Boycott Antitrust Violation?

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