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7-2.000 - Antitrust Statutes

7-2.100 Antitrust Policy
7-2.200 The Antitrust Division's Responsibilities
7-2.300 Organization of the Antitrust Division


7-2.100 - Statutes in General

The principal statutes affecting the investigative and litigation activities of the Antitrust Division are the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act. Criminal violations of the Sherman Act are the types of antitrust violations most likely to come to the attention of United States Attorney’s Offices.
[added October 2017]


7-2.200 - Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. Secs. 1 to 7

The Sherman Act prohibits (a) contracts, combinations, or conspiracies in restraint of interstate commerce or foreign trade, and (b) monopolization, attempts to monopolize, or combinations or conspiracies to monopolize interstate commerce or foreign trade. While every violation of this Act is technically a felony, the Department reserves criminal prosecution for “per se” unlawful restraints of trade among competitors, e.g., price fixing, bid rigging, and market allocation agreements. Criminal violations of this Act carry a maximum prison sentence of 10 years. Criminal violations of this Act carry a maximum fine of the greatest of (a) twice the gross pecuniary gain derived from the crime, (b) twice the gross pecuniary loss caused to the victims by the crime, or (c) for defendant corporations: $100 million, and for individuals: $1,000,000.
[added October 2017]


7-2.300 - Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. Secs. 14, 18, 19, and 20

The Clayton Act prohibits corporate and other mergers—and the acquisition of stock or assets—of competing companies, where the effect of such action may be substantially to lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly. Anticompetitive tying and exclusive dealing contracts are also prohibited, as are certain interlocking directorates. Violations of this Act are prosecuted civilly.
[added October 2017]

Updated November 13, 2017