Agency Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Agency, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Agency?

n. antitrust or competition laws are laws which prohibit anti-competitive or unfair business practices. The term “antitrust” derives from the U.S. law which was originally formulated to combat “business trusts”. Most antitrust activity affects such areas as, Bid rigging, Monopolization and oligopolization, Price fixing, Tying

History and Meaning of Antitrust

Antitrust or competition laws are essential for creating fair and open competition in business markets. The concept of antitrust originated in the United States in the late 19th century. The first significant antitrust law in the US was the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890. The law was designed to regulate monopolies and promote competition in business practices. Since then, many other countries have also implemented similar laws to prevent anti-competitive practices in their markets.

Antitrust laws aim to protect consumers from the adverse effects of anti-competitive practices such as cartels, price-fixing, bid-rigging, and monopolies. These practices decrease competition and limit consumer choice, which can lead to higher prices and reduced innovation in the market.

Examples of Antitrust

  1. In 2018, the European Union fined Google $5 billion for violating antitrust laws. The EU found that Google had used its dominant market position to promote its products over competitors unfairly.

  2. The US Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft in 1998, alleging that it had engaged in monopolistic practices with its Windows operating system to harm competition.

  3. The European Commission investigated Intel in 2009 for offering illegal rebates to computer manufacturers to use its microprocessors instead of its competitor's products.

Legal Terms Similar to Antitrust

  1. Monopoly: A situation where a single company controls the entire market and has no competition.

  2. Oligopoly: A situation where a few large companies control a significant portion of the market, giving them the ability to influence prices and reduce competition.

  3. Price Fixing: An agreement between businesses to set prices at a fixed rate, limiting competition in the market.

  4. Merger: The combining of two or more companies to form a single company, potentially leading to a reduction in competition in the market.

  5. Cartel: A group of companies that work together to limit competition, often by agreeing to fix prices or divide markets between themselves.