Antitrust – Forms of Collusion

Most criminal antitrust prosecutions involve price fixing, bid rigging, or 2 market division or allocation schemes.
 
Each of these forms of collusion may be prosecuted criminally if they occurred, at least in part, within the past five years.
 
Proving such a crime does not require us to show that the conspirators entered into a formal written or express agreement.
 
Price fixing, bid rigging, and other collusive agreements can be established either by direct evidence, such as the testimony of a participant, or by circumstantial evidence, such as suspicious bid patterns, travel and expense reports, telephone records, and business diary entries. Under the law, price-fixing and bid rigging schemes are per se violations of the Sherman Act.
 
This means that where such a collusive scheme has been established, it cannot be justified under the law by arguments or evidence that, for example, the agreed-upon prices were reasonable, the agreement was necessary to prevent or eliminate price cutting or ruinous competition, or the conspirators were merely trying to make sure that each got a fair share of the market.

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