Ask a question Ask a Question
Give feedback Give Feedback
1-800-333-4636 1-800-FED-INFO
Browse knowledgebase Browse Knowledgebase


Browse knowledgebase Start a Business
Browse knowledgebase Learn About New Health Care Changes
Browse knowledgebase Find Opportunities
Browse knowledgebase Browse resource for Veterans
Small Business Administration Tools SBA Tools
Sign up for email updates from SBAReceive helpful business tips and upcoming events in your area.

Managing a Business


Understanding Fair Practice

While many businesses will do almost anything to gain an edge on the competition, it is important to understand antitrust laws so that you do not risk your business's integrity while gaining customers. Antitrust laws make it illegal to conspire to restrain trade or commerce in any marketplace, regardless of size. While small businesses often fall victim to the unfair business practices of larger companies, they can be prosecuted for unfairly dominating markets localized in cities, towns, neighborhoods or niche industries.

Antitrust laws address the following:

  • Conspiring to Fix Market Prices: 
    Discussing prices with competitors, even if it affects a small marketplace, may be construed as a violation of antitrust laws.

  • Price Discrimination: 
    Using dominant industry power to secure favorable product prices from buyers, even though such prices are unavailable to weaker companies in the same industry, is generally a violation of antitrust laws.

  • Conspiring to Boycott: 
    Conversations with other businesses regarding the potential boycott of another competitor or supplier may violate antitrust laws.

  • Conspiring to Allocate Markets or Customers: 
    Agreements between competitors to divide up customers, territories, or markets are illegal. This provision applies even when the competitors do not dominate the particular market or industry.

  • Monopolization: 
    Preserving a monopoly position through the acquisition of competitors, the exclusion of competitors to the given market, or the control of market prices are all in violation of antitrust laws.

More Information

The following resources can also be helpful:


Get the Info That Matters Most to You With SBA Direct

Find information on:

(Select your topics)

Get Local Assistance Right in Your Area

Counseling, mentoring, and training from an SBA District Office, SCORE Chapter, Small Biz Development Center or Women’s Biz Center in your area.