A criminal violation of federal antitrust statues in which several competing businesses reach a secret agreement (conspiracy) to set prices for their products or prevent real competition and keep the public from benefiting from the competition. “Horizontal price fixing” among competitors at the same level of commerce (for example, two or more franchisees) is typically “per se” illegal. Under a series of decisions reached by the U.S. Supreme Court, parties such as franchisors are permitted to specify a maximum and a minimum resale price, which may still be reviewed under federal antitrust law under the “rule of reason” standard.

« Back to Glossary Index