There are a variety of state and federal laws in place to protect the stability of the country’s economy. Regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), businesses and corporations are required to follow these guidelines while operating. This avoids issues such as monopolies and other harmful behaviors that could negatively affect the economy. Price fixing is considered one of those harmful economic behaviors and is a dominant concern for the FTC. This means that there are severe consequences if a business is found doing so.
At The Vitaliano Law Firm, our team has years of experience working in both business and criminal law. We understand how daunting it can be when legal matters arise with the FTC. This is why we are committed to providing expert legal services and advice. We have represented countless individuals and businesses across the state of New York. Our firm is passionate about finding the best possible solution for your situation. If you are dealing with price-fixing accusations in Staten Island, do not wait to talk to The Vitaliano Law Firm about your case.
Price fixing occurs when two or more competing businesses make an agreement to “fix” their prices. They do this by either maintaining or increasing their levels. This is illegal based on federal antitrust laws. To keep the economy stable, the price of any product or service should technically be based on supply and demand. Price fixing is considered one of the most dangerous antitrust violations for consumers. When competitors decide to reduce competition between them by fixing prices, it often results in higher prices. Consumers are forced to pay them because they have no other option.
However, sometimes regular market behavior can seem similar to price fixing. For example, most gas businesses raise and lower their prices depending on the competitors around them. This helps to maintain a healthy market while still giving consumers the opportunity to choose where they want to purchase their product. The general rise and fall of prices for different products and services is part of a stable economy. This is not the same as price fixing. That occurs only when businesses make hidden or secret agreements to fix prices. Then, it becomes a problem for consumers and the market as a whole.
There are multiple different pieces of antitrust legislation that prevent businesses from attempting to fix prices in New York. The primary laws that prohibit price fixing include:
Being accused of violating an antitrust law is a grave charge. It is in your best interest to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who is familiar with these kinds of cases. At The Vitaliano Law Firm, our team can work with you to evaluate the severity of your case. We can also guide you through the different legal proceedings that follow and provide you with our best advice. We have worked for years in these kinds of cases and are familiar with how the proceedings will go. Our firm can inform you about the different legal aspects of your case. We can work with you to collect evidence and build a powerful defense that represents your side of the story. By working with a price-fixing attorney, you can trust that your and your business’s best interests will be fought for.
A: An example of price fixing would be three paint supply chains all agreeing to raise their prices. This ultimately forces other smaller suppliers to raise their prices to be able to compete. That then results in consumers having to pay increasingly higher prices, which affects the overall stability of the economy.
A: The prosecution is only required to provide sufficient circumstantial evidence that price fixing took place between two or more businesses. Evidence could include, among others:
It will require the skills of an expert defense attorney to disprove these kinds of evidence. They must only infuse reasonable doubt into the prosecution’s argument to do this.
A: Price collusion occurs when multiple businesses work together to influence market prices in some way for their own personal gain. Price fixing is a type of price collusion. If you are accused of either offense, you will need the services of an expert attorney. They can know how to best proceed in your situation.
A: Because the FTC takes price-fixing seriously, there are severe consequences if a business or individual is convicted. If a business or individual is charged, they can face up to 10 years in prison as well as hefty fines. Fines for businesses can reach $100,000,000. For individuals, fines can reach up to $1,000,000.
When dealing with any kind of antitrust violation claim, it is critical that you find an experienced attorney that you can count on to properly represent you or your business. We have extensive knowledge of criminal and business law and years of experience in the courtroom. Our firm is devoted to defending each of our clients and fighting for the best outcome possible. If you or your Staten Island business is being accused of violating antitrust laws in New York, do not hesitate to seek professional legal assistance from our team.
To schedule a consultation or to learn more about our firm and legal services, reach out to us today.