A price-fixing conspiracy is illegal — even if prices actually dropped during the alleged conspiracy — if the plaintiffs can show that the goal of the conspirators was not to raise prices, but to prevent them from dropping at the rate they would have in a healthy, competitive market, a federal judge has ruled.

In a class-action antitrust suit over an alleged price-fixing conspiracy in the market for hydrogen peroxide, Eastern District of Pennsylvania Judge Stewart Dalzell ruled that evidence that prices fell is no impediment to the plaintiffs’ claim that they paid inflated prices.

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