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FINDLAW LEGAL DICTIONARY

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Restraint Of Trade

restraint of trade

1 : an act, fact, or means of curbing the free flow of commerce or trade [covenant not to compete with an employer after leaving is in restraint of trade and must be reasonable to be enforced]
2 : an attempt or intent to eliminate or stifle competition, to effect a monopoly, to maintain prices artificially, or otherwise to hamper or obstruct the course of trade and commerce as it would be if left to the control of natural and economic forces [the Sherman Antitrust Act declared every contract, combination, and conspiracy in restraint of trade to be illegal]
;also
: the means (as a contract or combination) employed in such an endeavor see also horizontal restraint , per se rule , rule of reason , vertical restraint Sherman Antitrust Act in the Important Laws section



Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.