The opportunity to start and run a successful business is one of the best things about living in the United States. Many people dream of running a successful small business either as a way to be their own boss or as a way to generate income while providing jobs for others. The United States encourages entrepreneurial efforts. People can start businesses that offer services or products to members of the public. They can also work with other businesses rather than consumers. Ideally, the free market system in the United States allows those with the best products and business management practices to thrive.
In practice, there are some unethical business owners and entrepreneurs who try to manipulate the system to their own benefit. If a business owner or executive believes that their competitors on the local market have engaged in unfair competition, they may need to take legal action to protect their organization.
What constitutes unfair trade practices?
There are a variety of different types of behavior that could constitute unfair and possibly illegal competition or trade practices. Perhaps the best-known is the attempt to establish a monopoly. When two or more businesses merge to take over the local market, they can make it impossible for others to compete. Similarly, if one business consistently acquires any competition in the market by purchasing competitors, it may run afoul of antitrust laws.
Price fixing conspiracies are another form of unfair trade practices. Two or more competitors may agree to set their prices unreasonably low in an attempt to push another competitor or multiple other businesses out of the market. After those other businesses close or move elsewhere, the businesses can then increase their prices as they see fit.
Corporate espionage is another form of unfair competition, as is online defamation intended to sway consumers against a specific business. Inaccurate or misleading advertising, intellectual property infringement and a variety of other trade practices could constitute actionable unfair competition in the United States.
Unfair trade practices harm both companies and members of the general public. When there is evidence of this kind of misconduct, it may be necessary to take legal action. Initiating a lawsuit or notifying regulatory authorities could help executives and business owners fight back against unfair trade practices that may harm the organizations they operate.