House Passes Bipartisan Anti-Trust Legislation
Holmes-Olson bill protects Alaskans from corporate collusion and price fixing
JUNEAU - Today, the Alaska House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation to better protect Alaskans from corporate antitrust violations such as collusion and price fixing. The legislation (HB 87) would raise the penalties for criminal violations and create a civil penalty for individuals and corporations engaging in antitrust violations.
"If we want to protect Alaskan consumers from price fixing and other schemes, we need penalties that are more than a slap on the wrist," said Rep. Lindsey Holmes (D-Anchorage), who co-authored the legislation with Rep. Kurt Olson (R-Soldotna) and attorneys at the Alaska Department of Law.
The legislation makes criminal violations a class "C" felony and increases the maximum criminal fines to $1 million for an individual and $50 million for an organization. The bill also allows Alaska's Department of Law to pursue civil penalties for antitrust violations, with the same penalties for individuals and organizations.
Currently, violations are misdemeanors and penalties are only $20,000 for individuals and $50,000 for organizations.
"The old penalties were simply not enough to deter illegal activity," said Rep. Holmes.