Having a couple of competitors can be good for your business. While you have to share the market, you won’t find yourself stretched too thin to maintain your standards. You can turn aside difficult customers without causing them any hardship, and you have an example of what works (or, possibly, what really doesn’t work) in your industry.
Unfortunately, if your competitors aren’t happy about sharing their niche with you, they could try to drive you out of business — or push you out of the local market. Unfair competition makes it hard for potentially viable businesses to operate and compete with other companies.
Price-fixing or agreeing to charge specific rates for services is one way that competitors could make it very hard for another business to operate in their industry. Is an agreement to use the same pricing model an illegal or potentially actionable form of unfair competition?
Yes, price-fixing could lead to civil and criminal court
Price-fixing is absolutely unfair competition under both Texas and federal statutes. The Texas Attorney General actively investigates allegations of price-fixing under anti-trust laws, and a business’s owners or executives can face criminal court and financial penalties for the impact their practices have on the community.
Even if the Attorney General does not prosecute your competitors for their price-fixing schemes, you could likely hold them accountable in civil court for their attempt to unfairly compete with your business. If you can prove that they conspired with one another and that their actions affected your company or others in the industry, you may be able to seek compensation for their attempts to harm your business.
Learning more about Texas business law can help you fight back when competitors use unfair strategies to suppress your company.