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Division Update Spring 2014
Photo of Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust William J. Baer

William J. Baer

Assistant Attorney General
Antitrust Division

Despite the challenges of a hiring freeze, furloughs, and budget cuts, the dedicated women and men of the Antitrust Division stayed focused and accomplished much during the last year. We remedied two large mergers, prevailed in a major civil nonmerger trial, proved to a court the need to unwind a consummated transaction in a high-tech market, and obtained record sanctions in prosecuting a wide-ranging criminal cartel.

The Division newsletter describes each of these matters and other civil and criminal enforcement activities and summarizes the Division’s competition advocacy efforts at home and abroad. We hope it provides you with a window into the Division’s internal operations, including an opportunity to meet just a few of the many hard-working public servants who are responsible for our successes.

I am honored to be a part of this team. We at the Division look forward to continuing to uphold our commitment to ensuring the American consumer receives the benefits of a vigorously competitive marketplace.

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Civil Program

The Antitrust Division’s civil enforcement program continues to protect and promote competition to the benefit of American consumers. During the past year, the Division’s law enforcement efforts preserved competition in a variety of industries, including airlines, e-books, and health care.

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Criminal Program

The Antitrust Division’s vigorous criminal enforcement efforts continued in the past year. The Division obtained significant fines and prison sentences, including the longest sentence involving a Sherman Act violation and other criminal activity.

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Competition Advocacy and Policy

Effective law enforcement is core to the mission of the Antitrust Division. But so is competition advocacy—to government entities, private firms and organizations, and the general public.

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International Program

Over the past year, the Antitrust Division continued to pursue its many international initiatives, including enforcement and policy cooperation, bilateral and multilateral activities, and technical assistance. These efforts help protect U.S. consumers by strengthening enforcement and promoting international convergence around sound antitrust principles.

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Publications and Speeches

Transparency, clarity, and policy leadership are key elements of effective and efficient antitrust enforcement. Accordingly, the Division periodically publishes speeches, guidelines, policy statements, and closing statements that provide guidance on the legal and economic analytical frameworks the Division employs when reviewing proposed transactions and conducting investigations.

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Bridgestone Corp. Agrees to Plead Guilty and to Pay $425 Million Criminal Fine for Price Fixing on Auto Parts Installed in U.S. Cars

US Airways and American Airlines Required to Divest Facilities at Seven Key Airports to Enhance System-Wide Competition and Settle Merger Challenge Offering More Choice and More Competitive Airfares for Consumers

Court Rules Apple Inc. Violated Antitrust Laws by Conspiring to Raise E-Book Prices; Proposed Remedy Provides for Court-Appointed External Monitor, Antiretaliatory Measures and Prohibits Apple from Engaging in Future Anticompetitive Conduct

Court Finds Bazaarvoice Inc.’s Acquisition of PowerReviews Inc. Violates Antitrust Laws; Proposed Remedy Requires Selling Off All PowerReviews Assets, Provides Syndication Services to the Divestiture Buyer and Removes Trade-Secret Restrictions

Division’s Efforts to Combat Real Estate Foreclosure Auction Fraud Yields 72 Guilty Pleas to Date—45 in Northern California, 11 in Southern Alabama, 2 in North Carolina, 3 in Northern Georgia, and 11 in Eastern California—and 2 Trial Convictions

Anheuser-Busch InBev and Grupo Modelo Required to Divest Piedras Negras Brewery, Perpetual Licenses to Modelo Beer Brands and Other Assets to Maintain Competition in Beer Industry Nationwide

Nine Auto Parts Manufacturers Agree to Plead Guilty and to Pay More Than $740 Million in Criminal Fines for Fixing Prices on Auto Parts Sold to U.S. Car Manufacturers and Installed in U.S. Cars; Two Executives Agree to Plead Guilty

Former Project Manager Sentenced to Serve 14 Years in Prison for Role in Bid Rigging/Fraud Schemes Involving Two EPA Superfund Sites in NJ

Former Sea Star Line President Sentenced to Serve Five Years in Prison for Role in Price-Fixing Conspiracy Involving Coastal Freight Services; Longest Ever Sentence for a Sherman Act Violation


See our Contact Information page to contact certain offices or individuals in the Division.