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3. Memorandum Seeking Preliminary Inquiry Authority

A memorandum from a United States Attorney to the Antitrust Division requesting approval to conduct a preliminary inquiry into a possible antitrust violation should include the following general information:

  1. The commodity or service to be investigated, e.g., electrical contracting;
  2. The alleged illegal practice (the specific practice should be outlined, if practicable, e.g., price fixing, bid rigging, monopolization, etc., and not merely described as "restraint of trade");
  3. The relevant statute (usually Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 1);
  4. The names and locations of companies and individuals involved to the extent known;
  5. The geographic area involved, e.g., nationwide, middle Atlantic region; Montgomery County, Maryland; Eastern Virginia, etc.;
  6. A short, factual summary of the information upon which the request is based. This need be no more than a paragraph or two. Special considerations, such as the existence of private litigation or any particularly difficult legal issues, should also be discussed; and
  7. A short discussion of the factors that make the inquiry an appropriate one to be conducted by the USA rather than the Antitrust Division, e.g., the conduct consituting the antitrust violation is an integral part of a broad scheme of other illegal conduct being investigated by the USA.

[cited in USAM 7-5.210]

Updated December 7, 2018