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Antitrust

“Antitrust laws . . . are the Magna Carta of free enterprise. They are as important to the preservation of economic freedom and our free-enterprise system as the Bill of Rights is to the protection of our fundamental personal freedoms.” United States v. Topco Associates, Inc., 405 U.S. 596, 610 (1972).

Antitrust enforcement ensures fair competition to benefit businesses and consumers in Vermont. The Vermont Attorney General’s Office is responsible for civil and criminal enforcement of Vermont’s antitrust laws as defined in 9 V.S.A. § 2453 and has authority to file civil actions under federal antitrust statutes. Vermont’s antitrust remedies, and the rights of “indirect purchasers,” are set forth in 9 V.S.A. § 2465. Vermont’s law against predatory pricing is set forth in 9 V.S.A. § 2461c.

The following links provide general information about antitrust laws from the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice:

If you believe that a business or individual is violating antitrust laws, you can contact the Office of the Attorney General by email at antitrustinfo@atg.state.vt.us or by mail at:

Office of the Attorney General
Antitrust Unit
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609-1001

Vermont to Receive $65,000 and Business Refunds Under Attorney General Settlement for Price-Fixing Conspiracy

The State of Vermont will receive over $65,000 under a settlement with an international group of vitamin manufacturers. Attorney General William H. Sorrell, along with 22 states and class action plaintiffs, alleged that vitamin manufacturers engaged in a price-fixing conspiracy contrary to state and federal antitrust laws. Under the agreement approved today, the majority of Vermont’s share will go toward improving the nutrition and health of Vermont residents.

More information about the settlement
Vermont’s plan to distribute settlement funds
Complaint
Settlement

Vermont Files Amicus Brief in Pay-to-Delay Litigation

Vermont filed an amicus brief on behalf of 34 State Attorneys General urging the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear en banc a recent decision upholding a pay-to-delay agreement. The 34 States asked the court to revisit its approach to so-called pay-to-delay or reverse-payment agreements, under which a pharmaceutical manufacturer pays its generic competitors to delay entry of less expensive versions of a drug. A copy of the States’ amicus brief is available here.

Repeal health insurers’ exemption from antitrust law

Attorney General William Sorrell has been a leader among state attorneys general in supporting repeal of the federal antitrust immunity of insurance companies. Insurance providers have been largely immune from federal antitrust laws since passage of the McCarran Ferguson Act in 1945. A copy of a letter joined by nine attorneys general in support of repeal of this antitrust exemption for the health insurance industry is available here.

  Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.