In what ways do California’s antitrust and trade regulation laws resemble the federal laws?

There is considerable overlap between the California and federal antitrust and trade regulation laws. As a result, many legal problems in this area can be addressed under either or both sets of laws.

  • California’s Cartwright Act resembles the federal Sherman Act, which prohibits combinations in restraint of trade. Both forbid offenses such as price-fixing, boycotts, and other unreasonable restraints carried out by two or more persons or businesses acting jointly.
  • California’s Unfair Practices Act bears some resemblance to the federal Robinson-Patman Act, in that both limit the use of pricing practices deemed to be inimical to competition. The Robinson-Patman Act prohibits price discrimination. The Unfair Practices Act prohibits certain types of price discrimination, as well as sales below cost in certain circumstances.
  • California’s Unfair Competition Law resembles the Federal Trade Commission Act. Both generally prohibit unfair business practices and methods of competition that unfairly injure consumers. Neither specifies the precise acts that are forbidden; both instead leave that to be determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • California’s Unfair Advertising Statute is interpreted to prohibit the same advertising offenses as Federal Trade Commission Act 5.