California Antitrust Laws

California Business & Professions Code (Bus & Prof Code), Section 16700 et seq deals with the antitrust laws of the State of California.  Under the provisions of this law, any injured private person may bring an action. The State Attorney General may also bring an action.  The limitation period prescribed, under Cal Bus & Prof Code § 16750.1 for any action under this chapter is four years.  The Defendant prevailing in any action under this Chapter is entitled to reasonable attorney fees.  Cal Bus & Prof Code § 16750 provides that courts have the inherent authority to award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of suit to plaintiffs who obtain injunctive relief in antitrust actions.

Suits for damages

Cal Bus & Prof Code § 16750: Actions for damages; Actions by Attorney General; Cooperation by Attorney General with other litigants; Actions by District Attorney.

“(a) Any person who is injured in his or her business or property by reason of anything forbidden or declared unlawful by this chapter, may sue therefor in any court having jurisdiction in the county where the defendant resides or is found, or any agent resides or is found, or where service may be obtained, without respect to the amount in controversy, and to recover three times the damages sustained by him or her, interest on his or her actual damages pursuant to Section 16761, and preliminary or permanent injunctive relief when and under the same conditions and principles as injunctive relief is granted by courts generally under the laws of this state and the rules governing these proceedings, and shall be awarded a reasonable attorneys’ fee together with the costs of the suit.

(c) The Attorney General may bring an action on behalf of the state or of any of its political subdivisions or public agencies to recover the damages provided for by this section, or by any comparable provision of federal law, provided that the Attorney General shall notify in writing any political subdivision or public agency….”
Attorney Fees

Cal Bus & Prof Code § 16750:

(a) Any person who is injured in his or her business or property by reason of anything forbidden or declared unlawful by this chapter, may sue therefor in any court having jurisdiction in the county where the defendant resides or is found, or any agent resides or is found, or where service may be obtained, without respect to the amount in controversy, and to recover three times the damages sustained by him or her, interest on his or her actual damages pursuant to Section 16761, and preliminary or permanent injunctive relief when and under the same conditions and principles as injunctive relief is granted by courts generally under the laws of this state and the rules governing these proceedings, and shall be awarded a reasonable attorneys’ fee together with the costs of the suit.

Cal Bus & Prof Code § 16760 (e) (2) The Attorney General shall retain that portion of the monetary relief awarded by the court as costs of suit and attorney’s fee for deposit in the Attorney General Antitrust Account within the General Fund.

Statute of Limitations

Cal Bus & Prof Code § 16750.1:

Any civil action to enforce any cause of action for a violation of this chapter shall be commenced within four years after the cause of action accrued. No cause of action barred under existing law on the effective date of the amendment of this section at the 1977-78 Regular Session of the Legislature shall be revived by such amendment.


Inside California Antitrust Laws