What remedies do the California antitrust and trade regulation laws provide?
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California’s Cartwright Act and Unfair Practices Act allow victims to recover three times their actual damages. California’s Unfair Practices Act and false advertising statute do not allow the recovery of damages, but do allow a court to order restitution, which can include restoring to a victim what the wrongdoer took from him or her, and requiring the wrongdoer to disgorge all ill-gotten gains. All four statutes allow injunctive relief — that is, court orders requiring the wrongdoer to cease illegal activities.
California’s Cartwright Act and Unfair Practices Act allow successful plaintiffs to recover attorneys’ fees from the defendant. California’s Unfair Practices Act and False Advertising Statute do not provide for the recovery of attorneys’ fees, but such fees are sometimes available under California’s Private Attorney General Statute, where a successful lawsuit benefits the public.
Violations of California’s Cartwright Act, Unfair Practices Act, and false advertising statute can be prosecuted criminally. Violations of California’s Unfair Competition Law are not criminal offenses in and of themselves (although the offending behavior might violate other statutes with criminal remedies), but they can be subject to actions for civil penalties brought by law enforcement authorities, as can violations of California’s false advertising statute.