South Carolina Antitrust Laws

South Carolina’s Unfair Trade Practices Act (“SCUTPA”) is set forth at Code Sections 39-5-10 to 39-5-560, and is notable in that it provides a prevailing plaintiff the right to recover treble damages and attorney’s fees. Private action is permitted under S.C. Code Ann. § 39-5-140.  The Attorney General also has the power to demand investigation under S.C. Code Ann. § 39-5-70.  Period of limitation is three years under S.C. Code Ann. § 39-5-150.  Attorney fees are allowed under S.C. Code Ann. § 39-5-140.  Some provisions of South Carolina Unfair Trade Practices Act are:

S.C. Code Ann. § 39-5-150 reads:

Ҥ 39-5-150. Limitation of actions.

No action may be brought under this article more than three years after discovery of the unlawful conduct which is the subject of the suit.”

S.C. Code Ann. § 39-5-140 reads in part:

Ҥ 39-5-140. Actions for damages.

(a) Any person who suffers any ascertainable loss of money or property, real or personal, as a result of the use or employment by another person of an unfair or deceptive method, act or practice declared unlawful by § 39-5-20 may bring an action individually, but not in a representative capacity, to recover actual damages. If the court finds that the use or employment of the unfair or deceptive method, act or practice was a willful or knowing violation of § 39-5-20, the court shall award three times the actual damages sustained and may provide such other relief as it deems necessary or proper. Upon the finding by the court of a violation of this article, the court shall award to the person bringing such action under this section reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.”
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S.C. Code Ann. § 39-5-70 reads in part:

Ҥ 39-5-70. Investigative demand by Attorney General.

(a) When it appears to the Attorney General that a person has engaged in, is engaging in, or is about to engage in any act or practice declared to be unlawful by this article, or when he believes it to be in the public interests that an investigation should be made to ascertain whether a person in fact has engaged in, is engaging in, or is about to engage in any act or practice declared to be unlawful by this article, he may execute in writing and cause to be served upon that person or any other person who is believed to have information, documentary material or physical evidence relevant to the alleged or suspected violation, an investigative demand requiring such person to furnish, under oath, a report in writing setting forth the relevant facts and circumstances of which he has knowledge, or to appear and testify or to produce relevant documentary material or physical evidence for examination and copying, at such reasonable time and place as may be stated in the investigative demand, concerning the advertisement, sale or offering for sale of any goods or services or the conduct of any trade or commerce that is the subject matter of the investigation.”
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Inside South Carolina Antitrust Laws