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Antitrust Resource Manual

1. Attorney General's Policy Statement

"The effectiveness of antitrust enforcement can be substantially enhanced by utilizing the offices of the U.S. Attorneys to supplement the enforcement efforts of the Antitrust Division.

"Among the many elements which are essential to an effective antitrust enforcement program are the detection and prosecution of local violations directly affecting the consumer. While all of our antitrust enforcement efforts are ultimately directed to the benefit of the consuming public, price-fixing violations in particular have a direct and immediate impact on the consumer in terms of the ultimate price that he/she must pay for goods and services. We must vigorously prosecute such collusive practices in our economy.

"Experience indicates that in those areas where the Antitrust Division has field offices, the public becomes more antitrust-conscious and consequently calls to our attention possible violations to a greater degree than in other areas. Since the Division maintains only seven field offices, it is a fair assumption that many local price-fixing violations never come to our attention.

"Furthermore, the Antitrust Division does not have the resources to investigate and prosecute all local antitrust violations, and at the same time adequately pursue the other indispensable elements of its enforcement program.

"In short, I am convinced that the effective and efficient enforcement of the antitrust laws requires the detection and prosecution of local price-fixing violations in every geographical section of the country. The efforts of the Antitrust Division must be supplemented if this goal is to be achieved. Accordingly, I am assigning to the U.S. Attorneys, effective immediately, the additional responsibility for enforcing Section 1 of the Sherman Act against offenses which are essentially of local character, and which involve price fixing, collusive bidding, or similar conduct. The U.S. Attorneys shall handle such investigations and proceedings as the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division may specifically authorize them to conduct. To this end, each of you is being provided with this Manual which sets forth the procedures to be followed in such matters.

"You will receive appropriate guidance and help from the Antitrust Division. To the extent that your offices can fortify and supplement the work of the Antitrust Division, there will be a significant gain to the economy and to the consuming public. We depend upon your effective action."

[cited in USAM 7-1.100]