Antitrust & Business Competition
The Attorney General's Antitrust Section is responsible for civil and criminal enforcement of California's antitrust laws and has authority to file civil actions under federal antitrust statutes. As noted in the handy guide [474K/2 pages], antitrust enforcement ensures fair competition to benefit businesses and consumers in California.
Under recent enforcement action brought by the Attorney General, Californians will benefit from individual refunds and public access to some 665,000 music CDs being distributed to public libraries, schools, colleges and universities throughout the state. The benefits come from settlement of a price-fixing complaint against the nation's five largest music CD distributors and three major retail chains. More Info on California's Music CD Distribution Program.
Given recent spikes in California gasoline prices, Attorney General Lockyer held an informational hearing in Los Angeles and provided an updated report on gasoline pricing practices in the state. For more details, see CALIFORNIA GASOLINE MARKET on this web site.
In 1996, the state took the bold move of deregulating its electricity market with the aim of benefiting from market competition. Instead of lowering prices, the deregulation plan thrust California into an energy crisis that sent shock waves throughout the state and across the country in 2000. Market manipulation by power companies and other unlawful conduct is now under investigation by the Attorney General's Energy Task Force. Enforcement actions brought to date by the Attorney General have required energy companies to pay more than $1.6 billion in benefits to California ratepayers. See ENERGY on this web site for more details.