First, since the Clayton Act 1914§ 6, there has been no application of antitrust law to agreements between employees to form trade unions or to act in trade unions. This was considered a „bill of rights“ for labor, because the law established that „a person`s labor is not a commodity or a commodity.“ This should ensure that workers with unequal bargaining power are not prevented from joining forces in the same way that their employers could merge into companies, subject to the merger restrictions provided for in the Clayton Act. However, it was found that sufficiently self-employed workers, such as . B professional athletes, are covered by antitrust rules.  The antitrust environment of the 70s was dominated by the case of United States v. IBM, which was filed by the U.S. Department of Justice in 1969. IBM dominated the computer market at the time by allegedly bundling software and hardware, as well as sabotaging sales and advertising fake products. It was one of the largest and longest antitrust lawsuits the DoJ has brought against a company.
In 1982, the Reagan administration dismissed the case, and the cost and wasted resources were heavily criticized. However, contemporary economists argue that the legal pressure on IBM during this period allowed the development of an independent software and PC industry of great importance to the national economy.  If an antitrust action does not in itself fall into an illegal category, the plaintiff must prove that conduct in the „trade restriction“ under Sherman§1 causes harm based on „the facts inherent in the business to which the restriction is applied.“  This essentially means that it is more difficult to demonstrate an anti-competitive effect unless an applicant can rely on a clear precedent to which the situation corresponds. The reason for this is that the courts have tried to draw a line between practices that restrict trade in „good“ and „bad“ ways. In the first case, United States v Trans-Missouri Freight Association, the Supreme Court found that the railroads had acted unlawfully by creating an organization to set transportation prices. The railways had protested that their intention was to keep prices low and not high. The court found that this was not true, but held that not all „trade restrictions“ could be illegal in the literal sense. As in common law, restricting trade had to be „inappropriate.“ In Chicago Board of Trade v. In the United States, the Supreme Court found that there was a „good“ restriction on trade.  The Chicago Board of Trade had a rule that commodity traders could not privately agree to sell or buy after the market closed (and then close trades when it opened the next day). The reason the Chamber of Commerce had this rule was to ensure that all traders had the same chance to trade at a transparent market price.
It has clearly restricted trade, but the Chicago Board of Trade has argued that it is beneficial. Justice Brandeis, who rendered a unanimous verdict for a unanimous Supreme Court, found that the rule was pro-competitive and consistent with the rule of reason. He did not violate the Sherman Act §1. As he said, in order to analyze a proposed merger or acquisition, it is always necessary to define and examine the relevant markets that are affected. The FTC and the Division have published and regularly revised detailed merger guidelines that explain how to define cartel markets and analyze whether a proposed merger poses a significant risk of adversely affecting competition in a properly defined relevant market. In general, these guidelines explain how the Department and the FTC analyze planned mergers and acquisitions (horizontal, vertical, and conglomerate). Overall, antitrust laws aim to promote competitive markets. When sellers have to compete with each other, customers usually benefit. The same applies to buyers who have to compete for the purchase of intermediate consumption such as stocks and labour. Modern antitrust law generally deals only with certain cardinal infringements against competition – so-called per se infringements, such as price fixing and market sharing by direct competitors – as well as anti-competitive practices used by one or more undertakings to restrict or monopolise an entire business line. However, Congress and the courts seem poised to revive a broader view of antitrust law to meet the modern realities of our markets. A company convicted of a criminal offense can be ordered to pay huge restitutions and fines, and a person can be ordered to pay huge restitutions and fines, as well as serve significant prison sentences (up to ten years in a federal prison!).
When a company is convicted of a criminal offence, it is usually prosecuted under civil law by the civilian victims of the crime. He is often prosecuted only for the news of an indictment or an ongoing criminal investigation. Sometimes a convicted company has to try to get through a ruinous sequence of civil proceedings of competitors and customers. In some cases, a criminal conviction for violating antitrust laws predicts the demise of the company receiving it. File a Citizen Complaint – You can choose to simply report an antitrust violation or potential anti-competitive behavior to the DOJ Citizen Complaint Center through www.justice.gov/atr/citizen-complaint-center. This will create a record of your claim and the DOJ will investigate the facts, however, you will not receive legal advice on your claim, you may still want to consult a lawyer. Conversely, an antitrust plaintiff can obtain triple damages, an injunction, and the costs of his lawyers and lawsuits (but not expert fees). In some cases, antitrust plaintiffs can obtain very substantial judgments against solvent companies that they have to pay.
„As with its landmark antitrust cases against AT&T in 1974 and Microsoft in 1998, the department is once again enforcing the Sherman Act to restore the role of competition and open the door to the next wave of innovation — this time in major digital markets,“ said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen. Individuals – A group of consumers can take legal action againsttrust because they have been forced to pay too much for a product or service due to a seller`s anti-competitive practices. It is impossible to foresee any type of trade agreement that could constitute an unfair practice that hinders the market and it is therefore impossible to list the prohibited practices. Antitrust laws are therefore wisely limited to establishing general principles and leave it difficult for courts and regulators to apply these principles to controversial business practices. In fact, antitrust laws are a „constitution of the market“ that sets out the general principles of how markets work. Civil and criminal penalties, including the heavy burden of triple harm, seem necessary because they deter anti-competitive behaviour and also because they strongly incite victims to complain of antitrust misconduct committed by the Department, the FTC or prosecutors without the active cooperation of competitors or aggrieved customers who have ceased their activities by the perpetrator or the. Commission and the Council to take the necessary measures to ensure that the European Parliament is fully associated with the work of the European Parliament. .