Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2006


This article examines five common beliefs about antitrust damages and shows they all are untrue.

Myth #1. Antitrust violations give rise to treble damages.

Myth #2. There is "duplication" of antitrust damages because many defendants pay six-fold or more damages.

Myth #3. Courts should go easy on defendants when formulating liability rules or calculating overcharges because the awarded damages from a finding of an antitrust violation are so severe.

Myth #4. The size of the harms caused by antitrust violations, even by such "hardcore" violations as naked cartels, is relatively modest, and criminal penalties resulting from violations are out of proportion to these harms. This causes overdeterrence.

Myth #5. Even though treble damages should be maintained for "hardcore" violations, they should be reduced for some violations, such as rule of reason violations.

The final version of this article appeared as, "Five Myths About Antitrust Damages", 40 U.S.F.L. Rev 651 (2006).