Business LAW

Unfair Business Practices

Business Law

Unfair Business Practices

In California, statutory law provides a means for those who have been unfairly treated by a business to seek redress for any damages. Unfair Business Practices Act California provides an avenue for a party to make claims based on business conspiracy, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets and other proprietary information, fraud and tortious interference with contracts. If such a claim is proven, remedies can include recovery for damages and restitution, among other remedies.

The Unfair Business Practices Act California

California’s unfair competition law or unfair business statute is found in Business & Professions Code section 17200. It is commonly referred to Unfair Competition Law or UCL. The UCL protects consumers and businesses from unfair competition gained by any unlawful, unfair or fraudulent business act or practice and unfair, deceptive, untrue or misleading advertising.

The UCL applies to natural persons, corporations, firms, partnerships, joint stock companies, associations and other organizations of persons. Injunctive relief and court orders can be brought against any person who engages, has engaged, or proposes to engage in unfair competition. Such unfair competition may be enjoined in any court of competent jurisdiction. The court may make such orders or judgments, including the appointment of a receiver, as may be necessary to prevent the use of or employment by any person of any practice that constitutes unfair competition.

Who Does UCL Apply to?

In addition to consumers, the UCL applies to all types of businesses (corporations, companies, partnerships, firms, associations, organizations, and sole proprietors. Injured businesses may make claims based on business conspiracy, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference with contracts, and misappropriation of trade secrets and other proprietary information. As a result, the UCL protects consumers and the general public from fraudulent or unfair business practices and false advertising. Businesses get protection from other businesses unlawfully harming them.

Unfair Competition Practices

Wrongful acts by businesses injuring other businesses in California come under the jurisdiction of the UCL. The law protects fair competition. Some examples of unfair competition practices are as follows:

  • Conspiring to fix market prices by discussing prices with competitors;
  • Price discrimination using dominant industry power to secure favorable and unfair prices;
  • Conspiring to boycott a business through communications with other businesses;
  • Deceptive trade practices;
  • Conspiracy to allocate or divide up markets, territories, or customers;
  • Monopolization of territories or markets;
  • Violations of do-not-call, do-not-fax, or email unsubscribe requests by the public; and
  • Predatory lending including over-charging interest rates.

False Advertising

California also prohibits false advertising. It’s illegal to take part in deceptive, false, and misleading advertising. The law covers false advertising in the sale or disposition of real or personal property or services. The UCL also prohibits bait and switch tactics and listing false prices attempting to deceive customers.

Who Can Bring Claims?

To bring an action under the UCL a potential Plaintiff must have suffered an injury in fact, and have lost money or property as a result of the unfair competition. In other words, there must be some form of economic injury in order to maintain an action. This can be met by showing that a party lost more or acquired less in a transaction than they otherwise might have. Or that a party was deprived of money or property to which they had a cognizable claim. Or, that a future or present property interest was diminished.

Unfair Business Practices Attorneys

If you are a victim of unfair business practices, Real Estate Law Corporation has experienced litigation attorneys that serve clients in the greater Sacramento area and all over California. Our experienced litigation attorneys regularly assists clients with litigation matters. Due to our expertise and commitment to excellence, many of our business clients utilize our firm’s general counsel services. To schedule a free consultation with one of our business attorneys, simply call us at (916) 767-0000, or use the contact form below.

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