Types of Anti-Competitive Agreements
Competition is the cornerstone of a capitalist economy. Healthy competition allows businesses to strive for excellence and provide consumers with better products and services at reasonable prices. Unfortunately, some businesses resort to anti-competitive agreements that hinder the free market and harm consumers. Here are some common types of anti-competitive agreements:
1. Price-fixing Agreements
Price-fixing occurs when businesses agree to set a minimum or maximum price for a product or service. This artificial manipulation of prices restricts competition and harms consumers by denying them the benefits of a free market.
2. Market-sharing Agreements
Market-sharing agreements occur when businesses agree to divide up a market by geography, product type, or customer group. This anti-competitive practice restricts competition by removing the incentive for businesses to seek out new consumers and offer better products and services.
3. Bid-rigging Agreements
Bid-rigging occurs when businesses secretly agree to manipulate the bidding process for contracts or projects. This anti-competitive practice harms consumers by driving up prices and denying them the opportunity to benefit from fair competition.
4. Exclusive Dealing Agreements
Exclusive dealing agreements occur when businesses demand that their suppliers or customers only do business with them exclusively. This anti-competitive practice restricts competition and harms other businesses by denying them access to valuable customers and suppliers.
5. Tying Agreements
Tying agreements occur when businesses require customers to buy one product or service to obtain another product or service. This anti-competitive practice harms consumers by denying them the opportunity to choose the best products or services for their needs.
Anti-competitive agreements are illegal under antitrust laws because they harm competition and consumers. Businesses that engage in anti-competitive practices can face significant fines and legal penalties. As a consumer, it`s important to be aware of these anti-competitive practices and report any suspected violations to antitrust authorities.