Complex antitrust litigation can take years to resolve. If you are an attorney or plaintiff with slow-paying antitrust fees, RD Legal Funding can convert your settled cases into immediate cash. To find out if you qualify for our post-settlement attorney fee funding program, please fill out the brief application to the right. A free consultation with a Fee Acceleration expert is also available by calling 800-565-5177.
The Sherman Antitrust Act was passed by Congress in 1890 to prohibit anticompetitive business acts such as cartels and monopolies. The goal of the act was to encourage competition and ensure that all businesses had equal opportunity.
The Sherman Act was amended in 1914 with the Clayton Act which sought to exempt unions from the scope of antitrust laws. It is now used mostly to prohibit price discrimination; tying and exclusive dealing contracts; corporate mergers; and interlocking directorates.
To further curb unfair trade practices, the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1914 established the Federal Trade Commission with authorization to issue cease and desist orders to large companies.
The Robinson-Patman Act of 1936, also known as the Anti-Price Discrimination Act, amended the Clayton Act by prohibiting price fixing and other anti-competitive business practices which could now be punishable by criminal penalties.
The Celler-Kefauver Act of 1950 further strengthened the Clayton Act by forbidding a loophole in which competition would be reduced by acquiring stocks and assets of competitors. This provided the government with the means to prevent vertical and conglomerate mergers that would stifle competition.
Today, the government initiates antitrust litigation by notifying the company that it is engaging in price fixing, price discrimination, or activities to suppress competition. Actions are brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, state governments, and private individuals.
Examples of recent antitrust litigation include action taken against Microsoft. Starting in May 1998, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), 20 states, and the District of Columbia sued Microsoft for illegally engaging in predatory practices to protect its monopoly in personal-computer operating systems. The antitrust trial began in October 1998. In June of 2000 U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson ordered Microsoft’s breakup. The order was rescinded in September 2001. The DOJ and Microsoft agreed on a proposed settlement. After various extensions, the antitrust consent decree expired in May of 2011.
In April 2013 a class of more than 7 million merchant plaintiffs disputed interchange fees in the Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. antitrust case. The settlement is estimated to be the biggest ever in an antitrust case and would provide for about $7.25 billion in cash payouts. The complex case took eight years.
Apple is currently involved in an antitrust suit brought by a certified class composed of individuals and businesses who purchased iPods from the company between September 12, 2006 and March 31, 2009. The plaintiffs contend that Apple’s use of iPod software and firmware updates to prevent consumers who purchased music from non-Apple sources from playing it on their iPods resulted in monopolies in the digital music and portable digital music player markets. This enabled the company to charge inflated prices for millions of iPods.
RD Legal Funding is positioned to provide antitrust attorneys and their clients with immediate post-settlement funding. To start accelerating your legal fees today, please fill out the brief online application located on this page. Or you can call RD Legal toll-free at 800-565-5177 to speak with one of our legal funding experts.