Unfair Competition Disputes

Unfair competition disputes involve allegations of practices that harm the competitive landscape by giving one business an unfair advantage over others. These practices may include false advertising, trademark infringement, trade secret misappropriation, and predatory pricing. Essentially, any action that undermines fair competition can fall under this category.

Common Causes

  • False Advertising: Misleading claims about products or services can deceive consumers and unfairly drive business away from competitors.
  • Trademark Infringement: Unauthorized use of another company’s trademark can confuse consumers and harm the brand’s reputation.
  • Trade Secret Misappropriation: Stealing or unlawfully disclosing trade secrets, such as customer lists or manufacturing processes, can provide an unfair advantage in the market.
  • Predatory Pricing: Deliberately lowering prices to below cost in order to drive competitors out of the market temporarily.

Helpful Insights

Unfair competition disputes are often complex and require careful examination of evidence to determine whether unfair practices have occurred. Mediation can be an effective way to resolve these disputes, as it allows parties to work together to find mutually acceptable solutions without the need for costly and time-consuming litigation. Moreover, mediation can help preserve business relationships by fostering open communication and collaboration between parties.

Deceptive Trade Practices Disputes

Deceptive trade practices disputes involve allegations of misleading or fraudulent actions by businesses that harm consumers or other businesses. These practices may include false advertising, bait-and-switch tactics, pyramid schemes, and failing to disclose important information to consumers.

Common Causes

  • False Advertising: Making false or misleading claims about products or services to deceive consumers.
  • Bait-and-Switch Tactics: Advertising a product at a low price to attract customers, then trying to sell them a more expensive product instead.
  • Pyramid Schemes: Recruiting participants by promising them payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than selling products or services.
  • Failure to Disclose Information: Withholding important information from consumers, such as potential risks or fees associated with a product or service.

Helpful Insights

Deceptive trade practices can erode consumer trust and damage a company’s reputation. It’s essential for businesses to comply with laws and regulations governing advertising and consumer protection to avoid disputes. In mediation, parties can address concerns and negotiate fair resolutions to restore trust and mitigate the negative impact on their business.

Anticompetitive Conduct Disputes

Anticompetitive conduct disputes involve allegations of actions taken by businesses to restrict competition in the marketplace unlawfully. These actions may include price-fixing agreements, exclusive dealing arrangements, and monopolization attempts.

Common Causes

  • Price-Fixing Agreements: Colluding with competitors to set prices artificially high, thereby limiting price competition.
  • Exclusive Dealing Arrangements: Requiring distributors or retailers to only sell a particular product, thereby restricting access to competing products.
  • Monopolization Attempts: Using tactics to gain or maintain a dominant position in a market, such as predatory pricing or acquiring competitors to reduce competition.

Helpful Insights

Anticompetitive conduct disputes can have far-reaching effects on consumers and the economy by reducing choices, increasing prices, and stifling innovation. Mediation offers a confidential and efficient way for parties to resolve these disputes while avoiding the risks and costs associated with litigation. By working together to address concerns and find mutually beneficial solutions, businesses can help promote fair competition and protect consumers’ interests.


What is unfair business practices mediation?

Unfair business practices mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) where parties involved in disputes related to unfair competition, deceptive trade practices, or anticompetitive conduct seek to resolve their issues with the assistance of a neutral mediator.

How does mediation differ from litigation in resolving unfair business practices disputes?

Mediation allows parties to voluntarily negotiate and craft their own solutions with the help of a mediator, while litigation involves a formal legal process where a judge or jury makes decisions based on the law and evidence presented in court.

What types of unfair business practices disputes can be mediated?

Unfair business practices disputes of various types, including those involving false advertising, trademark infringement, deceptive trade practices, anticompetitive conduct, and more, can be mediated.

Who typically participates in unfair business practices mediation sessions?

Parties involved in the dispute, along with their attorneys and sometimes expert witnesses, typically participate in mediation sessions. Additionally, a neutral mediator facilitates the discussions and helps the parties reach a resolution.

What are the benefits of using mediation to resolve unfair business practices disputes?

Mediation offers several benefits, including cost savings, confidentiality, faster resolution compared to litigation, preservation of business relationships, and the opportunity for parties to have more control over the outcome.

How long does unfair business practices mediation typically take?

The duration of mediation can vary depending on the complexity of the issues involved, the willingness of parties to cooperate, and other factors. Some mediations may be resolved in a single session, while others may require multiple sessions over several weeks or months.

Is the outcome of unfair business practices mediation legally binding?

The outcome of mediation is not legally binding unless the parties agree to a legally enforceable settlement agreement. Otherwise, parties are free to pursue other avenues, such as litigation, if they are unable to reach a resolution through mediation.

What happens if parties cannot reach a settlement through mediation?

If parties cannot reach a settlement through mediation, they may choose to pursue other dispute resolution methods, such as arbitration or litigation, to resolve their issues.

How much does unfair business practices mediation cost?

The cost of mediation can vary depending on factors such as the mediator’s fees, the number of sessions required, and any additional expenses incurred during the process. However, mediation is generally less expensive than litigation.

How can businesses prepare for unfair business practices mediation?

Businesses can prepare for mediation by gathering relevant documents and evidence, identifying their goals and interests, understanding their legal rights and obligations, and being open to compromise and negotiation during the mediation process.