Yesterday, the federal district court in San Francisco imposed a record-tying $500 million fine on AU Optronics Corporation (AUO), a Taiwan-based liquid crystal display (LCD) producer, for its participation in a five-year conspiracy to fix the prices of thin-film transistor LCD panels. The company and its U.S. subsidiary also were placed on probation for three…

George Mason University (GMU) Law Professor Joshua D. Wright has been picked by the Obama Administration to replace Federal Trade Commission member J. Thomas Rosch—a fellow Republican—whose term expires later this month. The White House announced the intended nomination on September 10. In addition to serving as a professor at GMU School of Law and…

The federal district court in New York City yesterday approved a U.S. consent decree that resolves U.S. Department of Justice allegations against three publishers for participating in a conspiracy to fix prices for electronic books or “e-books.” The consent decree with Hachette Book Group, Inc., HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C., and Simon & Schuster, Inc. was found to…

Recently the DOJ announced its approval, with conditions, of the complex set of commercial agreements entered into by a cadre of cable companies (Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, and Cox Communications) and Verizon Wireless, 55 percent of which is owned by the cadre’s competitor Verizon Communications. While some may try to portray the…

The Department of Justice will not challenge a proposed acquisition by Verizon Wireless of a significant portfolio of wireless spectrum licenses from a consortium of four cable companies and the subsequent transfer of a significant amount of that spectrum to T-Mobile USA; however, the parties will be required to modify separate marketing agreements to settle…

Earlier this week, bi-partisan legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate to protect from employment discrimination employees, contractors, sub-contractors, or agents who report antitrust violations to the federal government. The proposed “Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act” (S. 3462) was introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (Vermont) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa), chairman and ranking member of the Senate…

Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to consider the nomination of William Baer to serve as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division. Baer was nominated in February, shortly after then Acting Assistant Attorney General Sharis Pozen announced her intention to resign effective as of April 30….

The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing for next Thursday on the nomination of William Baer to serve as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division. The hearing, will be held at 1:00 p.m. on July 26. It will be chaired by Senator Herb Kohl (Wisconsin), chairman of the…

The government’s successful prosecution of AU Optronics Corporation, its wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary, and two former company executives serves as a cautionary tale. The case marks the first time a company has gone to trial over charges resulting from a U.S. investigation into an international cartel. It highlights the dangers of participating in a price fixing…

The Department of Justice Antitrust Division “remains committed to taking all appropriate investigatory and enforcement action against conduct threatening harm to competition in agricultural markets,” according to a report released earlier this month. The report, entitled “Competition and Agriculture: Voices from the Workshops on Agriculture and Antitrust Enforcement in our 21st Century Economy and Thoughts…