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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Pursuant to Section 2(b) of the Antitrust Procedures and Penalties Act ("APPA"), 15 U.S.C. § 16 (b)-(h), plaintiff United States moves for entry of the proposed Final Judgment annexed hereto in this civil antitrust proceeding. The Final Judgment may be entered at this time without further hearing if the Court determines that entry is in the public interest. The Competitive Impact Statement filed in this matter on November 10, 1998, explains why entry of the proposed Final Judgment would be in the public interest. A Certificate of Compliance setting forth the steps taken by the parties to comply with all applicable provisions of the APPA and certifying that the statutory waiting period has expired has been filed simultaneously with this Motion.I. Background
Plaintiff filed a civil antitrust complaint on November 10, 1998, alleging that 21st Century Bidding Corporation ("21st Century) violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1. In its complaint, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant used coded bids during a Federal Communications Commission auction of radio spectrum licenses for personal communication services. The complaint further alleges that, through the use of these coded bids, the defendant reached agreements to stop bidding against other bidders in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1.
The proposed Final Judgment, filed the same time as the Complaint, prohibits 21st Century from entering into anticompetitive agreements and from using coded bids in future FCC auctions. A Competitive Impact Statement filed by the United States describes the Complaint, the proposed Final Judgment, and the remedies available to private litigants who may have been injured by the alleged violation.
The plaintiff and the defendant have stipulated that the proposed Final Judgment may be entered after compliance with the APPA. Entry of the proposed Final Judgment would terminate this action, except that the Court would retain jurisdiction to construe, modify, or enforce the provisions of the proposed Final Judgment and to punish violations thereof.II. Compliance with the APPA
The APPA requires a sixty-day period for the submission of public comments on the proposed Final Judgment. 15 U.S.C. § 16(b). In this case, the comment period terminated on January 25, 1999. The United States received no comments during this period on the proposed Final Judgment. The procedures required by the APPA prior to entry of the proposed Final Judgment are completed. The Certificate of Compliance filed by the United States with this Court simultaneously with this Motion demonstrates that all the requirements of the APPA have been met. It is now appropriate for the Court to make the public interest determination required by 15 U.S.C. § 16(e) and to enter the Final Judgment.III. Standard of Judicial Review
Before entering the proposed Final Judgment, the Court is to determine whether the Judgment "is in the public interest." In making that determination, the Court may consider:
(1) the competitive impact of such judgment, including termination of alleged violations, provisions for enforcement and modification, duration or relief sought, anticipated effects of alternative remedies actually considered, and any other considerations bearing upon the adequacy of such judgment;
15 U.S.C. § 16(e).
In its Competitive Impact Statement previously filed with the Court on November 10, 1998, the United States has explained the meaning and proper application of the public interest standard under the APPA and incorporates those statements here by reference. There have been no comments filed in response to the proposed Final Judgment. Thus, there has been no showing that the proposed settlement constitutes an abuse of the Justice Department's discretion or that it is not within the zone of settlements consistent with the public interest.IV. Conclusion
For the reasons set forth in this Motion and in the Competitive Impact Statement, the Court should find that the proposed Final Judgment is in the public interest and should enter the proposed Final Judgment without further hearings. The Final Judgment will remedy the anticompetitive effects of the challenged conduct by requiring 21st Century to refrain from entering into anticompetitive agreements and from using coded bids in future FCC auctions. Therefore, the United States respectfully requests that the proposed Final Judgment annexed hereto be entered as soon as possible.
The defendant has informed plaintiff that the defendant consents to the entry of the Final Judgment in this matter.
Dated: January 28, 1999
Certificate of Service
I, Jill Ptacek, hereby certify that, on January 28, 1999, I caused the Plaintiff's Motion For Entry Of Final Judgment and the United States' Certificate Of Compliance With The Provisions Of The Antitrust Procedures And Penalties Act to be served on defendant 21st Century Bidding Corp. by having copies mailed, first-class, postage prepaid, to:
Timothy J. O'Rourke, Esq.