IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EXPLANATION OF CONSENT DECREE PROCEDURES
Plaintiff United States submits this short memorandum summarizing the procedures regarding the Court's entry of the proposed Final Judgment. This Judgment would settle this case pursuant to the Antitrust Procedures and Penalties Act, 15 U.S.C. §§ 16(b)-(h) (the "APPA"), which applies to civil antitrust cases brought and settled by the United States.
1. Today, plaintiffs United States and the State of Louisiana have filed a Complaint alleging that the merger of AT&T Inc. and Centennial Communications Corp. would violate the antitrust laws. A proposed Final Judgment, and Preservation of Assets Stipulation and Order were also filed requiring the defendants to divest certain assets to alleviate the competitive concerns alleged in the Complaint. The parties have agreed that the Court may enter the proposed Final Judgment following compliance with the APPA. Plaintiff United States also has filed a Competitive Impact Statement relating to the proposed Final Judgment.
2. The APPA requires that plaintiff United States publish the proposed Final Judgment and the Competitive Impact Statement in the Federal Register and in certain newspapers at least 60 days prior to entry of the proposed Final Judgment. The notice will inform members of the public that they may submit comments about the proposed Final Judgment to the United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (see 15 U.S.C. §§ 16(b)-(c)).
3. During the 60 day period, plaintiff United States will consider, and at the close of that period respond to, any comments that it has received, and it will publish the comments and plaintiff United States' responses in the Federal Register.
4. After the expiration of the 60 day period, plaintiff United States will file with the Court the comments and plaintiff United States's responses, and it may ask the Court to enter the proposed Final Judgment (unless plaintiffs have decided to withdraw their consent to entry of the Judgment, as permitted by Section IV.A of the Preservation of Assets Stipulation and Order) (see 15 U.S.C. § 16(d)).
5. After compliance with the APPA, 15 U.S.C. §§ 16(e)-(f), the Court may enter the proposed Final Judgment without a hearing, provided that it concludes that the Final Judgment is in the public interest and that the United States has not withdrawn its consent.