On August 20, 2018 the Antitrust Division announced in a press release (here) the return of an indictment (here) against a real estate company, a realtor and an accountant that does not include a charge of violating the Sherman Act. The press release states: [T]he Detloffs devised a scheme requiring repair contractors to pay the…

The DOJ issued a standard press release yesterday announcing yet another individual guilty plea in its long running real estate foreclosure auction collusion investigation: Seventh Mississippi Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Rig Bids at Public Foreclosure Auctions.   According to the press release to date there have been “convictions of well over 100 other…

In a five-to-four decision yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and several states failed to prove that so-called “anti-steering” provisions imposed by American Express Company on merchants that accept AmEx cards harmed competition in violation of federal antitrust law. The Court, in an opinion authored by Justice Clarence…

The headline sounds funny, but the story is no laughing matter.  A plea agreement in the electrolytic capacitor investigation between the United States and Nippon Chemi-Con (“NCC”) is in jeopardy because of an unfortunate conflict of interest lapse by an attorney at the Department of Justice.  There was a hearing before Judge Donato yesterday on…

On April 9, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice held a public roundtable on the subject of criminal antitrust compliance.  If any other Division of the DOJ had done this, it would not be particularly exceptional, but within the antitrust compliance world, it was significant—exciting even! Since at least the time of the…

The Department of Justice Antitrust Division wrapped up its case to block AT&T Inc.’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Inc. last week, and lawyers for the defendants told the federal district court in Washington, D.C. that the government “came nowhere close” to proving that the deal would violate Sec. 7 of the Clayton Act. “The government ……

The following post offers a look back at important trends in antitrust enforcement over the past year. Many of the significant developments that are detailed below, including merger challenges and leadership changes, will have a lasting impact on 2018 and beyond. MERGER ENFORCEMENT Department of Justice litigation. The biggest antitrust news story of 2017 was…

The Justice Department’s challenge to AT&T’s proposed $108 billion acquisition of Time Warner Inc. is likely the biggest antitrust news story of the year. Much of the attention from the mainstream media has been focused on possible influence by President Trump on the Justice Department’s decision to seek divestitures of assets, such as CNN, to…

This is Part Three of a four-part series of posts by myself and colleague Kimberly Justice on “It Is Time for an Antitrust Whistleblower Statute.”  Parts 1 and 2 can be found here and here. ******************************************************** Note:   If the Grassley/Leahy Anti-Retaliation Act is passed, that protection would be part of the whistleblower statute. Ms. Justice and I are advocating that…

Objections to an Antitrust Whistleblower Statute The idea of an antitrust whistleblower is not new, but it has never gained much traction in the past.  There have been significant objections, or at least disinterest—particularly from the Department of Justice.  The mood seemed to be “Our cup runneth over with Amnesty applications so let’s not screw…