United States' Explanation of Consent Decree Procedures
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
The 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, the United States has filed a Complaint, a proposed Final Judgment, and a Stipulation and Order between the parties by which they have agreed that the Court may enter the proposed Final Judgment following the United States's compliance with the APPA. The United States will shortly file a Competitive Impact Statement relating to the proposed Final Judgment.
2. The APPA requires that the 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 [15 U.S.C. §§ 16(b)-(c)].
3. During the sixty-day period, the 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 the United States's responses in the Federal Register.
4. After the expiration of the sixty-day period, the United States will file with the Court the comments and the United States's responses, and it may ask the Court to enter the proposed Final Judgment (unless the United States has decided to withdraw its consent to entry of the Judgment, as permitted by Paragraph 2 of the Stipulation and Order) [see 15 U.S.C. § 16(d)].
5. If the United States requests that the Court enter the proposed Final Judgment after compliance with the APPA, 15 U.S.C. §§ 16(e)-(f), then the Court may enter the Judgment without a hearing, provided that it concludes that the Final Judgment is in the public interest.
Dated: September 6, 2002