United States

Cartel conduct is criminalised under Federal Law by the Sherman Act. Most states also have separate antitrust laws.

The offence

Cartel activity is considered an automatic violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.

Cartel activity includes all agreements, whether or not in writing, where there is a conscious commitment to a common scheme involving:

  • price fixing;
  • output;
  • allocation of customers or territories; or
  • bid rigging.



Maximum fine of USD1 million and 10 years’ imprisonment.


Maximum fine of USD100 million per offence.

These maximums can be exceeded under the Alternative Sentencing Act which allows fines of twice any gain or loss made from the cartel.

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