Antitrust law aims to protect trade and commerce from unfair restraints, monopolies and price fixing through the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act. Most states also have their own antitrust laws patterned on federal laws.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) investigates antitrust matters and is authorized to convene a grand jury to indict suspects. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the federal agency that seeks to promote free and fair competition in interstate commerce. Most antitrust issues arise when the DOJ or FTC investigates large companies about to merge. The mergers are often in the same industry and may involve unfair business tactics or outcomes.
Smaller corporations and businesses may also be involved in antitrust issues. Small businesses often file complaints about unfair competition with the FTC. These businesses often hire antitrust attorneys in order to ensure that the process for filing a complaint is followed and to help make the most persuasive case for government action.