For the most part, businesses have no control over what their competitors do. They need to be ready to adapt in an instant to innovations in their industry or to a competitor becoming incredibly popular due to a social media marketing campaign. The requirement to constantly adapt to competition is part of what drives innovation concerning the goods and products offered by modern businesses. Competition can help to incentivize workers and keep industries from becoming stagnant.
However, not all competition is fair or even legal. There are times when a business starts to suffer the repercussions of another company’s seemingly illegal behavior. One business could potentially initiate litigation against another or possibly several other businesses in the same industry for actions that amount to unfair competition.
When two or more competitors decide to work together to push someone else out of the industry, a price-fixing scheme is often part of that process. By capping the cost for their goods or services at a low level, they can diminish the profit margin of their competitor and also reduce its overall market share. Price fixing and any other agreement intended to curtail commerce is a violation of state statutes that could be actionable.
Slandering a competitor online
Public opinion, including the perception of other consumers, has a major impact on what people buy and what companies they patronize. Fake reviews posted on social media and specialized review apps could damage a business’s reputation and push customers toward their competitor. Repeatedly leaving negative reviews or trying to start online rumors to hurt a competitor might eventually lead to a lawsuit to stop that unethical activity.
Engaging in corporate espionage
Perhaps the IT department at a company intercepted an email offering to pay a member of the sales team for a copy of the client list. Perhaps there was a break-in, and an investigation has made it clear that a competitor sought access to company resources, possibly to steal trade secrets or otherwise gain an unfair advantage in business.
Business litigation may be an effective way to both halt and recover from the misconduct of a competitor. Pursuing a lawsuit against a business that is engaging and unfair competition can potentially benefit the business fighting back against that misconduct.