Sherman Act, the

15 U.S.C. §1 et seq., enacted in 1890, was the first U.S. Federal antitrust law. The act declares illegal every contract, combination (in the form of trust or otherwise), or conspiracy in restraint of interstate and foreign trade. It has been variously-amended, by the Clayton Act and the Robinson Patman Act and extended by the Lanham Act and Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. The Sherman Act has quite severe sanctions. Violating it is a felony (i.e., a crime), which can result in a prison sentence on an individual of three years and fines of up to $350,000 per violation, while companies can be fined up to $10 million per violation. Violations can also give rise to civil suits, including class actions, that can result in enhanced, treble damages. State Attorneys General can also bring suits under this legislation under the Parens Patriæ Act.

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