Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission Announce Guidance for Post-Hurricane Relief Efforts
The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) today announced the release of antitrust guidance for businesses taking part in relief efforts and those involved in rebuilding communities affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
The guidance is intended to help businesses understand how they can work together to rebuild affected communities without violating the antitrust laws. The antitrust laws accommodate procompetitive collaborations among competitors. At the same time, the agencies intend to hold accountable those who enter into anticompetitive agreements that take advantage of hurricane victims or hurricane relief efforts. Among other actions, the Department of Justice will criminally prosecute companies that fix prices, rig bids, or allocate customers, and the Federal Trade Commission will investigate and take action against companies and individuals who violate the consumer protection laws.
Anyone with information on price fixing, bid-rigging, market allocation agreements, or other anticompetitive conduct should call the Antitrust Division’s Citizen Complaint Center at 888-647-3258, or visit http://www.justice.gov/atr/report-violations. Consumers or businesses with concerns about fraudulent activity can also call the Disaster Fraud Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or visit https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/how-report-disaster-related-fraud.