The Catholic University of America

Summary of District of Columbia Laws


D.C. Antitrust Act of 1980

D.C. Code Ann. §§ 28-4501 to 28-4518

The Law: Essentially, local antitrust law parallels Sections 1 and 2 of the federal Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. §§ 1-7). Section 28-4503 of the D.C. law provides: "It shall be unlawful for any person to monopolize, attempt to monopolize, or combine or conspire with any other person or persons to monopolize any part of trade or commerce, all or any part of which is within the District of Columbia." In interpreting D.C. Code antitrust provisions, the courts have used decisions by federal courts as a guide when construing comparable provisions.

Note: Howard University brought an antitrust action against the N.C.A.A. for denying its football team a berth in a post-season tournament, asserting both federal and local antitrust laws. The application for a temporary restraining order was denied and, notably, the court reviewed all the laws and the D.C. Code did not appear to affect the analysis significantly.

Also note that in a discussion of reasonableness of employment restraints, the court has given weight to the D.C. Code antitrust provisions and decisions of state courts. See Ellis v. Hurston Associates, 565 A.2d 615 (D.C. 1989).

Exclusions: The District antitrust law specifically excludes labor and agricultural organizations and all non-profit organizations established for religious, charitable, literary, or educational purposes. See D.C. Code Ann. § 28-4504.

Applicability of Federal Laws: In most circumstances, federal antitrust law is fully applicable to D.C. because, as a practical matter, any monopolizing practice in the District is likely to affect commerce with a neighboring state. Federal antitrust laws include: The Clayton and Robinson-Patman Acts, 15 U.S.C. §§ 12-27, the Federal Trade Commission Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 41-58, and portions of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 1-7.

Note: The federal Charitable Gift Annuity Antitrust Relief Act of 1995, 15 U.S.C. §§ 37 and 37a, exempts I.R.C. § 501(c)(3) organizations from liability under federal antitrust laws for using or agreeing to use uniform rates in issuing gift annuities and also provides exemption from state antitrust laws.

 Referances: See DC Code here


Updated 7.19.16 K.S.C.