Chapter 1331: MONOPOLIES

1331.01 Monopoly definitions.

As used in sections 1331.01 to 1331.14 of the Revised Code:

(A) "Person" includes corporations, partnerships, and associations existing under or authorized by any state or territory of the United States, and solely for the purpose of the definition of division (B) of this section, a foreign governmental entity.

(B) "Trust" is a combination of capital, skill, or acts by two or more persons for any of the following purposes:

(1) To create or carry out restrictions in trade or commerce;

(2) To limit or reduce the production, or increase or reduce the price of merchandise or a commodity;

(3) To prevent competition in manufacturing, making, transportation, sale, or purchase of merchandise, produce, or a commodity;

(4) To fix at a standard or figure, whereby its price to the public or consumer is in any manner controlled or established, an article or commodity of merchandise, produce, or commerce intended for sale, barter, use, or consumption in this state;

(5) To make, enter into, execute, or carry out contracts, obligations, or agreements of any kind by which they bind or have bound themselves not to sell, dispose of, or transport an article or commodity, or an article of trade, use, merchandise, commerce, or consumption below a common standard figure or fixed value, or by which they agree in any manner to keep the price of such article, commodity, or transportation at a fixed or graduated figure, or by which they shall in any manner establish or settle the price of an article, commodity, or transportation between them or themselves and others, so as directly or indirectly to preclude a free and unrestricted competition among themselves, purchasers, or consumers in the sale or transportation of such article or commodity, or by which they agree to pool, combine, or directly or indirectly unite any interests which they have connected with the sale or transportation of such article or commodity, that its price might in any manner be affected;

(6) To refuse to buy from, sell to, or trade with any person because such person appears on a blacklist issued by, or is being boycotted by, any foreign corporate or governmental entity.

"Trust," as defined in this section, does not include bargaining by a labor organization in negotiating or effecting contracts with an employer or employer group with reference to minimum payment to any member of the labor organization for any motor vehicles owned, driven, and used exclusively by such member in the performance of his duties of employment pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement between the labor organization and the employer or employer group.

A trust as defined in division (B) of this section is unlawful and void.

Effective Date: 10-01-1976

1331.02 Prohibition against issuing or owning trust certificates or entering into combination, contract, or agreement.

No person shall issue or own trust certificates, and no person shall enter into a combination, contract, or agreement, the purpose and effect of which is to place the management or control of such combination, or the product or service thereof, in the hands of a trustee with the intent to limit or fix the price or lessen the production or sale of an article or service of commerce, use, or consumption, to prevent, restrict, or diminish the manufacture or output of such article or service, or refuse to buy from, sell to, or trade with any person because such person appears on a blacklist issued by, or is being boycotted by, any foreign corporate or governmental entity.

Effective Date: 10-01-1976

1331.021 Control acquisition of Ohio company which substantially lessens competition in petroleum products market.

No person, corporation, partnership, or combination shall acquire control of an Ohio corporation or its assets where the effect of such acquisition may be to substantially lessen competition in any market for petroleum products in Ohio, or to substantially lessen, directly or indirectly, the number of competitors in any market for petroleum products in Ohio, or to diminish the availability of supply of any petroleum product to persons purchasing such product for resale in Ohio. Upon request of the governor or the general assembly, the attorney general shall bring an action in the court of common pleas of Franklin county to enjoin any actual or threatened violation of this provision. The attorney general shall have the sole authority to enforce the provisions of this section.

Effective Date: 11-17-1981

1331.03 Forfeiture after notice.

Whoever violates sections 1331.01 to 1331.14 of the Revised Code, shall forfeit to the state, for the use of the general revenue fund, five hundred dollars for each day that such violation is committed or continued after due notice is given by the attorney general or a prosecuting attorney. Such sum may be recovered in the name of the state. The attorney general, or the prosecuting attorney of any county upon the order of the attorney general, shall prosecute for the recovery thereof. When such action is prosecuted by the attorney general he may begin the same in the court of common pleas of Franklin county or of any other county in which there is proper venue.

Effective Date: 10-01-1976

1331.04 Conspiracy against trade prohibited.

A violation of sections 1331.01 to 1331.14 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, is a conspiracy against trade. No person shall engage in such conspiracy or take part therein, or aid or advise in its commission, or, as principal, manager, director, agent, servant, or employer, or in any other capacity, knowingly carry out any of the stipulations, purposes, prices, or rates, or furnish any information to assist in carrying out such purposes, or orders thereunder, or in pursuance thereof, or in any manner violate said sections. Each day's violation of this section is a separate offense.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1331.05 Prohibition against combination to control price of food.

No person shall form a combination to control the price or supply, or to prevent competition in the sale of bread, butter, eggs, flour, meat, or vegetables or any one of said articles. Each day's violation of this section is a separate offense.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1331.06 Illegal contract.

A contract or agreement in violation of sections 1331.01 to 1331.14 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, is void.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1331.07 Compliance by foreign corporations.

A foreign corporation or foreign association exercising any of the powers, franchises, or functions of a corporation in this state, violating sections 1331.01 to 1331.14 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, shall not do any business in this state. The attorney general shall enforce this section by proceedings in quo warranto in the supreme court, or the court of appeals of the county in which the defendant resides or does business, or by injunction or other proceedings.

The secretary of state shall revoke the certificate of such corporation or association.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1331.08 Liability for damages.

In addition to the civil and criminal penalties provided in sections 1331.01 to 1331.14 of the Revised Code, the person injured in the person's business or property by another person by reason of anything forbidden or declared to be unlawful in those sections, may sue therefor in any court having jurisdiction and venue thereof, without respect to the amount in controversy, and recover treble the damages sustained by the person and the person's costs of suit. When it appears to the court, before which a proceeding under those sections is pending, that the ends of justice require other parties to be brought before the court, the court may cause them to be made parties defendant and summoned, whether or not they reside in the county where the action is pending.

Effective Date: 02-20-2002

1331.09 Contents of indictment.

In an indictment for an offense provided for in sections 1331.01 to 1331.14 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, it is sufficient to state the purpose or effects of the trust or combination, and that the accused is a member thereof, or acted with or in pursuance of it or aided or assisted in carrying out its purposes, without giving its name or description, or how, when, and where it was created.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1331.10 Evidence.

In prosecutions under sections 1331.01 to 1331.14 of the Revised Code, it is sufficient to prove that a trust or combination exists, and that the defendant belonged to it, or acted for or in connection with it, without proving all the members belonging to it, or proving or producing an article of agreement, or a written instrument on which it may have been based; or that it was evidenced by a written instrument.

Effective Date: 10-01-1976

1331.11 Jurisdiction of courts.

Courts of common pleas are invested with jurisdiction to restrain and enjoin violators of sections 1331.01 to 1331.14 of the Revised Code. For a violation of such sections, the attorney general, or the prosecuting attorney of the proper county, shall institute proper proceedings in a court of competent jurisdiction in any county in which there is proper venue.

When such suit is instituted by the attorney general in quo warranto, he may begin the same in the supreme court of the state, or the court of appeals of Franklin county. When such suit is instituted by the attorney general to restrain and enjoin a violation of sections 1331.01 to 1331.14 of the Revised Code, he may begin the same in the court of common pleas of Franklin county. Such proceedings to restrain and enjoin such violation shall be by way of complaint setting forth the case, and praying that such violation be enjoined or otherwise prohibited.

Upon the filing of such complaint, and before final decree, the court may make such temporary restraining order or prohibition as is just in the premises. In any action or proceeding in quo warranto by the attorney general or a prosecuting attorney against a corporation, the court in which such action or proceeding is pending may, ancillary to such action or proceeding, restrain or enjoin the corporation and its officers and agents from continuing or committing during the pendency of the action the alleged act by reason of which the action is brought.

When, in a proceeding in quo warranto by the attorney general or any prosecuting attorney, any Ohio corporation is, on final hearing, found guilty of violating such sections, the court may declare a forfeiture of all its rights, privileges, and franchises to the state and may order the corporation dissolved and appoint a trustee to wind up its affairs, as is provided in other cases in quo warranto.

Effective Date: 10-01-1976

1331.12 Parties defendant - multiple proceedings - statute of limitations.

(A) In any action or proceeding in quo warranto, in injunction, or otherwise brought by the attorney general or a prosecuting attorney under sections 1331.01 to 1331.14 of the Revised Code, all persons that are party to or participating in the trust or conspiracy against trade violative of those sections may be made parties defendant and summoned, whether or not they reside in the county in which the action or proceeding is instituted. Actions or proceedings in quo warranto and in injunction may be instituted simultaneously, or while one or another of them is pending, such actions or proceedings being started in the proper court as provided in section 1331.11 of the Revised Code, and no action or proceeding in injunction is a bar to an action or proceeding in quo warranto, nor is an action or proceeding in quo warranto a bar to one instituted to restrain and enjoin.

(B) Any civil or criminal action or proceeding for a violation of sections 1331.01 to 1331.14 of the Revised Code, other than one upon which an action was brought in any court by any person not later than forty-five days after the effective date of the current amendment, shall be forever barred unless commenced within four years after the cause of action accrued.

Effective Date: 02-20-2002

1331.13 Witnesses are not excused from testifying.

If a court of record, or a judge thereof in vacation, in which is pending a civil or criminal action or proceeding brought or prosecuted by the attorney general or a prosecuting attorney for the violation of sections 1331.01 to 1331.14 , inclusive, of the Revised Code, or an action or proceeding for a violation of a law, common or statute, against a conspiracy or combination in restraint of trade, so orders, no person shall be excused from attending, testifying, or producing books, papers, schedules, contracts, agreements, or other documents in obedience to the subpoena or order of such court or a commissioner, referee, or master appointed by such court to take testimony, or a notary public or other person authorized to take depositions, when the order made by such court or judge includes a witness whose deposition is being taken before such notary public or other officer, for the reason that the testimony or evidence required of him may tend to incriminate him or subject him to a penalty. No person shall be prosecuted or subjected to a penalty for or on account of a transaction, matter, or thing concerning which he may so testify or produce evidence, documentary or otherwise, before such court, person, or officer.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1331.14 Cumulative provisions.

Sections 1331.01 to 1331.13 , inclusive, of the Revised Code are cumulative of each other and of all other laws in any manner affecting them.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1331.15 Prohibited acts.

No person engaged in the business of buying milk, cream, or butter fat shall, for the purpose of creating a monopoly, or to restrain trade, or to prevent or limit competition, or to destroy the business of a competitor, discriminate between different sections, localities, communities, or cities of this state, by purchasing such commodity at a higher price or rate in one locality than in another, after making due allowance for the difference in the actual costs of transportation from the locality of purchase to the locality of manufacture.

Effective Date: 10-01-1953

1331.16 Investigative demand for discovery.

(A) As used in this section, "documentary material" means the original or any copy of any writings, drawings, graphs, charts, photographs, phonorecords, and other data compilation from which intelligence, relevant to any investigation conducted to determine if any person is or has been engaged in a violation of this chapter, can be perceived with or without the use of detection devices.

(B) Whenever the attorney general has reasonable cause to believe that any person, as defined in section 1331.01 of the Revised Code, may be in possession, custody, or control of any documentary material or may have knowledge of any fact that is relevant to any investigation conducted to determine if any person is or has been engaged in a violation of this chapter, the attorney general or the attorney general's designated representative may issue in writing, and cause to be served upon any person or the representative or agent of the person, an investigative demand that requires the person to produce the documentary material for inspection and copying or reproduction, to answer under oath and in writing written interrogatories, or to appear and testify under oath before the attorney general or the attorney general's duly authorized representative, or that requires the person to do any combination of the three demands.

(C) Each investigative demand shall:

(1) Describe the conduct under investigation and state the provisions of law applicable thereto;

(2) If it is a demand for production of documentary material:

(a) Describe with reasonable particularity the documentary material to be produced;

(b) Prescribe a return date that will provide a reasonable period of time within which the material may be assembled and made available for inspection and copying or reproduction;

(c) Identify the custodian to whom the material shall be made available.

(3) If it is a demand for answers to written interrogatories:

(a) Identify the representative of the attorney general to whom the answers shall be made;

(b) Prescribe a date by which the answers shall be presented.

(4) If it is a demand for the giving of oral testimony:

(a) Prescribe a date, time, and place at which oral testimony shall be taken;

(b) Identify the representative of the attorney general who shall conduct the oral examination.

(D) No investigative demand shall:

(1) Contain any requirement that would be unreasonable if contained in a subpoena or a subpoena duces tecum issued by a court in aid of a grand jury investigation;

(2) Except as provided in division (H) of this section, require any answers to written interrogatories, the giving of any oral testimony, or the production of any documentary material that would be privileged from disclosure if demanded by a subpoena or subpoena duces tecum issued by a court in aid of a grand jury investigation.

(E) Service of any investigative demand may be made and is complete by doing either of the following:

(1) Depositing a copy of the demand in the United States mails, by certified mail addressed to the person to be served at his principal office, place of business, or residence;

(2) Delivering a copy of the demand to the person, or to the representative or agent of the person.

(F) Any person who is served with a demand under this section may be represented by counsel at the taking of that person's testimony.

(G) In all respects, the taking of oral testimony, answering of written interrogatories, and production of documentary material under this section, except as otherwise provided in this section, shall follow the procedures established by the discovery provisions of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

(H)

(1) Whenever a natural person who is served with a demand under this section refuses, on the basis of the person's privilege against self-incrimination, to provide any oral testimony, to answer any written interrogatories, or to produce any documentary material, the attorney general or the attorney general's designated representative may file a written request with a court of common pleas, and the court, unless it finds that to do so would not further the administration of justice, shall compel that person to provide the oral testimony, to answer the written interrogatories, or to produce the documentary material if all of the following apply:

(a) The attorney general or the attorney general's designated representative makes a written request to the court of common pleas to order the person to provide oral testimony, to answer written interrogatories, or to produce documentary material, notwithstanding his claim of privilege;

(b) The written request is made to a court of common pleas in the county in which the person resides, transacts business, or is otherwise found, except that if the person transacts business in more than one county, the request shall be made in the county in which the person maintains his principal place of business;

(c) The court of common pleas informs the person that by providing oral testimony, answering written interrogatories, or producing documentary material the person will receive immunity under division (H)(2) of this section.

(2) If, but for division (H) of this section, the person would have been privileged to withhold any oral testimony, answers to written interrogatories, or documentary material given in these proceedings and if the person complies with an order under division (H)(1) of this section that compels the person to provide testimony, answers, or material, the person shall not be prosecuted or subjected to any criminal penalty for or on account of any transaction or matter concerning which, in compliance with the order, the person provided testimony, answers, or material.

(3) A person granted immunity under division (H)(2) of this section may be subjected to a criminal penalty for any violation of section 2921.11 , 2921.12 , or 2921.13 of the Revised Code, or for contempt committed in providing oral testimony, answers to written interrogatories, or documentary material in compliance with the order.

(I) Within twenty days after service of an investigative demand upon any person pursuant to this section, or at any time before the compliance date specified in the demand, whichever period is shorter, the person may file in the court of common pleas in the county in which the person resides, transacts business, or is otherwise found, and serve upon the attorney general, a request for an order of the court modifying or setting aside the demand, except that if the person transacts business in more than one county, the request shall be filed in the county in which the person maintains the person's principal place of business, or in any other county that may be agreed upon by the person and the attorney general, or the attorney general's designated representative. The application shall specify each ground upon which the person relies in seeking relief. The time allowed for compliance with the demand shall be tolled during the pendency of the request in court.

(J) Whenever any person fails to fully comply with an investigative demand served upon the person pursuant to this section, the attorney general may file in the court of common pleas in the county in which the person resides, transacts business, or is otherwise found, and serve upon the person, a request for an order of the court that compels compliance with the demand, except that if the person transacts business in more than one county, the request shall be filed in the county in which the person maintains the person's principal place of business, or in any other county that may be agreed upon by the person and the attorney general, or the attorney general's designated representative. If the court finds that the noncompliance was in bad faith or for the purpose of delay, it may order the person to pay to the attorney general the reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining the order, including attorney's fees, and may invoke the sanctions provided by Rule 37 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

(K) A person who obstructs an investigative demand made under this section may be liable for criminal prosecution for a violation of section 2921.13 , 2921.31 , or 2921.32 of the Revised Code.

(L) The attorney general is responsible for the custody, use, and necessary preservation of the documentary material made available pursuant to a demand and for its return as provided by this section. All documentary material, answers to written interrogatories, and transcripts of oral testimony that are provided pursuant to an investigative demand are, for purposes of section 149.43 and division (E)(2) of section 1347.08 of the Revised Code, trial preparation records, and shall be confidential and shall not be subject to disclosure, inspection, or copying except as provided in this section. Unless otherwise ordered by a court of common pleas, no documentary material, answers to written interrogatories, or transcripts of oral testimony that are provided pursuant to an investigative demand shall be available for inspection or copying by, nor shall the contents of the material, answers, or transcripts be disclosed to, any individual other than an authorized representative of the attorney general, without the consent of the person who provided the material, answers, or testimony, except that the material, answers, or testimony may be used in any grand jury investigation or, after reasonable notice to the person who provided the material, answers, or testimony, in the conduct of any case or other official proceeding involving an alleged violation of this chapter. No employee of the office of the attorney general shall purposely make available for inspection or copying documentary material, answers to written interrogatories, or transcripts of oral testimony provided pursuant to an investigative demand, nor disclose the contents of the material, answers, or transcripts, except as provided by this section.

(M) When copies of documentary material made available pursuant to an investigative demand are no longer required for use in a pending proceeding, or, absent any pending proceeding, are no longer required in connection with the investigation for which they were demanded, or at the end of twenty-four months following the date when the material was made available, whichever is sooner, all copies of the material shall be returned, unless a request to extend the period beyond twenty-four months has been filed in the court of common pleas in which a request for an order compelling compliance pursuant to division (J) of this section could be filed. This division shall not require the return of any copies of the documentary material that have passed into the control of any court or grand jury.

(N) Public officers and their deputies, assistants, clerks, subordinates, and employees shall render and furnish to the attorney general, or to the attorney general's designated representatives when so requested, all information and assistance in their possession or within their power.

(O) When any request is filed in any court of common pleas under this section, the court shall have jurisdiction to hear and determine the matter presented and to enter any order that may be required to carry into effect the provisions of this chapter.

(P) Nothing contained in this section impairs the authority of the attorney general to file any complaint alleging an antitrust violation that is not described in the demand, nor does this section prevent the use of any evidence, obtained through this section or otherwise, in such an action.

(Q) Nothing in this section impairs the authority of the attorney general or the attorney general's representatives to lay before any grand jury that is impaneled in this state any evidence, obtained through this section or otherwise, concerning any alleged violation of this chapter, to invoke the power of the courts to compel the production of any evidence before any grand jury that is impaneled in this state, or to institute any proceeding for the enforcement of any order or process that is issued in execution of such power or to punish disobedience of any such order or process by any person.

Effective Date: 07-01-1996

1331.99 Penalty.

(A) Whoever violates section 1331.02 or 1331.05 of the Revised Code is guilty of a felony of the fifth degree.

(B) Whoever violates section 1331.04 or division (L) of section 1331.16 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree.

(C) Whoever violates section 1331.15 of the Revised Code is guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree.

Effective Date: 07-01-1996