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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38452
Experience:  Retired (mostly)
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I have a company that has provided store coverage and

Customer Question

I have a company that has provided store coverage and service broker connections for a small perishables production company to a very large food retailer. The retailer is now taking all of the connection/contact away from the independent contactors to a direct line from the production company to the retailers corporate office reducing the need for brokers across the country. Is this a possible violation of the Sherman Anti Trust Act or the Clayton Act?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  socrateaser replied 1 year ago.

Hello,

Violation of federal antitrust laws requires proof that an organization is actively seeking to monopolize an industry not on its own merit, but with the intents to control the market through unfair practices. There's a lot of ambiguity in the law, which typically means that the U.S. Department of Justice, or a state attorney general is required to bring charges to protect the public interests.

In your circumstance, I believe that the issue would boil down to whether or not you and others like you have other options in the same market space. If yes, then there's likely no antitrust violation. Otherwise, there may be an unlawful monopoly.

That said, the best thing to do is complain to the government and try to get some media attention, as well. If enough people complain, and enough media attention is focused on the issue, the government investigates (and, sometimes, the offending organization reverses course voluntarily).

That's how I would handle the issue, based upon your stated facts.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer -- otherwise, I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf.

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