Private Antitrust Enforcement

Last lecture, we discussed how the US government can enforce antitrust laws

  • The Clayton Act also allows private entities to enforce antitrust laws in court

“Any person who shall be injured in his business or property by reason of anything forbidden in the antitrust laws may sue therefore… without respect to the amount in controversy, and shall recover threefold the damages by him sustained, and the cost of the suit, including a reasonable attorney’s fee” Clayton Act, Section 4

Private Enforcement History

  • Initially, very few private antitrust suits were brought to court.
  • In the 1960’s, antitrust suits became much more common
    • The Supreme Court reduced hurdles for private plaintiffs
    • The Supreme Court broadened their definition of liability