Domestic and foreign corporations and limited liability companies; cancellation of charters or certificates of authority for restraining trade; affidavit.
Any corporation or limited liability company organized under the laws of this state or foreign corporation or foreign limited liability company authorized to transact business in this state pursuant to a certificate of authority from the department of financial institutions which violates any provision of this chapter, may, upon proof thereof, in any circuit court have its charter or authority to transact business in this state suspended, canceled or annulled. Every corporation shall, in its annual report filed with the department of financial institutions, show whether it has entered into any contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy in restraint of trade or commerce. The department of justice shall enforce this section.
If the department of justice has reason to believe that any corporation or limited liability company has violated any provision of this chapter, the department of justice may address to any such corporation or limited liability company or to any director, officer or manager interrogatories deemed necessary to determine whether or not the entity has violated any provision of this chapter. The corporation, limited liability company, director, officer or manager so addressed shall promptly and fully answer in writing under oath the interrogatories; the failure or neglect by any such corporation, limited liability company, director, officer or manager to do so within 60 days from receipt of the interrogatories, unless the time is extended in writing by the department of justice, shall constitute grounds for suspension, cancellation or annulment of its corporate charter or authority to transact business in this state under s. 133.12
Any person providing information under this section may designate the information as confidential business information or a trade secret as defined in s. 134.90 (1) (c)
. The department of justice shall notify the person providing the information 15 days before any information designated as confidential or trade secret is disclosed to the legislature, a state agency, a local unit of government or any other person. The person furnishing the information may seek a court order limiting or prohibiting the disclosure. In such cases the court shall weigh the need for confidentiality of the information against the public interest in the disclosure. Confidentiality is waived if the person providing the information consents to disclosure or if disclosure is authorized by a court.
Illegal contracts void; recovery.
All contracts or agreements made by any person while a member of any combination or conspiracy prohibited by s. 133.03
, and which contract or agreement is founded upon, is the result of, grows out of or is connected with any violation of such section, either directly or indirectly, shall be void and no recovery thereon or benefit therefrom may be had by or for such person. Any payment made upon, under or pursuant to such contract or agreement to or for the benefit of any person may be recovered from any person who received or benefited from such payment in an action by the party making any such payment or the heirs, personal representative or assigns of the party.
History: 1979 c. 209
The fact that plaintiff gave illegal rebates to competitors is no defense to an action for the price of goods sold. Roux Laboratories v. Beauty Franchises, 60 Wis. 2d 427
, 210 N.W.2d 441
Remedy provided by s. 133.23 (1969 stats.) is not on its face unconstitutional. Madison v. Hyland, Hall & Co. 73 Wis. 2d 364
, 243 N.W.2d 422
No privilege from self-accusation. 133.15(1)(1)
No person may be excused from answering any of the interrogatories authorized under this chapter, nor from attending and testifying, nor from producing any books, papers, contracts, agreements or documents in obedience to a subpoena issued by any lawful authority in any action or proceeding based upon or growing out of any alleged violation of any provision of this chapter or of any law of this state in regard to trusts, monopolies or illegal combinations on the ground of or for the reason that the answer, testimony or evidence, documentary or otherwise, required may tend to incriminate or subject the person to a penalty or forfeiture. No person may be prosecuted or subjected to any penalty or forfeiture for or on account of testifying or producing evidence, documentary or otherwise, in obedience to any request under this section or any subpoena, in any such action or proceeding, except that the charter of any corporation or limited liability company may be vacated and its corporate existence annulled or its certificate of authority to transact business in this state may be canceled and annulled as provided in this chapter, and except that no person testifying in any such action or proceeding may be exempt from punishment for perjury committed in so testifying.
The immunity provided under sub. (1)
is subject to the restrictions under s. 972.085
Injunction; pleading; practice.
Any circuit court may prevent or restrain, by injunction or otherwise, any violation of this chapter. The department of justice, any district attorney or any person by complaint may institute actions or proceedings to prevent or restrain a violation of this chapter, setting forth the cause and grounds for the intervention of the court and praying that such violation, whether intended or continuing be enjoined or prohibited. When the parties informed against or complained of have been served with a copy of the information or complaint and cited to answer it, the court shall proceed, as soon as may be in accordance with its rules, to the hearing and determination of the case; and pending the filing of the answer to such information or complaint may, at any time, upon proper notice, make such temporary restraining order or prohibition as is just. Whenever it appears to the court that the ends of justice require that other persons be made parties to the action or proceeding the court may cause them to be made parties in such manner as it directs. The party commencing or maintaining the action or proceeding may demand and recover the cost of suit including reasonable attorney fees. In an action commenced by the department of justice, the court may award the department of justice the reasonable and necessary costs of investigation and an amount reasonably necessary to remedy the harmful effects of the violation. The department of justice shall deposit in the state treasury for deposit in the general fund all moneys that the court awards to the department or the state under this section.
The costs of investigation and the expenses of suit, including attorney fees, shall be credited to the appropriation account under s. 20.455 (1) (gh)
. Copies of all pleadings filed under this section shall be served on the department of justice.
The department of justice or the district attorney shall institute, manage, control and direct, in the proper county, all prosecutions for violations of this chapter. When prosecuting violations of this chapter, the department of justice shall have and exercise all powers conferred upon district attorneys.
Any district attorney bringing any action under this chapter shall serve copies of all pleadings on the department of justice within 3 days from the time of filing. If the department of justice brings any action under this chapter, it shall serve copies of all pleadings on the district attorney of the county where the action is brought within 3 days from the time of filing.
History: 1979 c. 209
Treble damages; statute of limitations. 133.18(1)(a)
Except as provided under par. (b)
, any person injured, directly or indirectly, by reason of anything prohibited by this chapter may sue therefor and shall recover threefold the damages sustained by the person and the cost of the suit, including reasonable attorney fees. Any recovery of treble damages shall, after trebling, be reduced by any payments actually recovered under s. 133.14
for the same injury.
No damages, interest on damages, costs or attorney fees may be recovered under this chapter from any local governmental unit or against any official or employee of a local governmental unit who acted in an official capacity.
A civil action for damages or recovery of payments under this chapter is barred unless commenced within 6 years after the cause of action accrued. When, in a civil class action, a class or subclass is decertified or a class or subclass certification is denied, the statute of limitations provided in this section is tolled as to those persons alleged to be members of the class or subclass for the period from the filing of the complaint first alleging the class or subclass until the decertification or denial.
Whenever any civil or criminal action or proceeding is instituted by the state under this chapter, the running of the statute of limitations in respect of every other right of action based in whole or in part on any matter complained of in the state's action or proceeding shall be suspended during the pendency thereof and for one year thereafter. The pendency of any such action or proceeding instituted by the state shall not be grounds for staying any other action or discovery in such other action.
A cause of action arising under this chapter does not accrue until the discovery, by the aggrieved person, of the facts constituting the cause of action.
Each civil action under this chapter and each motion or other proceeding in such action shall be expedited in every way and shall be heard at the earliest practicable date.
In a civil action against a person or entity specified in s. 893.80
, the amount recovered may not exceed the amount specified in s. 893.80 (3)
Factors to be considered in fixing attorneys' fees are discussed. Punitive damages may not be awarded in addition to treble damages. John Mohr & Sons, Inc. v. Jahnke, 55 Wis. 2d 402
, 198 N.W.2d 363
Public policy does not prohibit insurance coverage for statutorily imposed multiple damages. Cieslewicz v. Mutual Service Cas. Ins. Co. 84 Wis. 2d 91
, 267 N.W.2d 595
The remedy under this section is confined to violations of this chapter. Gerol v. Arena, 127 Wis. 2d 1
, 377 N.W.2d 618
(Ct. App. 1985).