Acting Assistant Attorney General
The last year has been an incredibly busy one for the Antitrust Division. The work presented an unprecedented challenge, and required the Division’s staff to pull together as never before. In doing so, we executed our mission, promoting competition and enforcing the antitrust laws through investigation, advocacy, and, when necessary, litigation. Indeed, since the last Spring Meeting, the Division has had more matters, both civil and criminal, in active litigation than in the recent past. In this newsletter, you can read more about recent litigation, civil and criminal enforcement, international programs, and domestic competition advocacy.
The Division’s civil enforcement efforts continued apace in FY 2016. Overall, the Division received 1,832 HSR Act premerger notifications, an increase from prior years. The Division challenged 25 transactions, either by filing suit to block the transaction, filing a consent decree agreed to by the parties, or by requiring parties to restructure their transaction to gain approval. In addition, several deals were abandoned once the parties learned of the Division’s concerns or after the Division filed a suit to block the transaction.
In FY 2016, the Division’s criminal sections continued to hold both individuals and companies accountable for antitrust crimes. Over the course of the year, 52 executives and 19 companies were charged with price fixing, bid rigging, fraud, and obstruction of justice. The Division’s prosecutions resulted in the imposition of $399 million in fines and penalties. These prosecutions reflect the Division’s dedication to protecting American consumers from price-fixing, bid-rigging, and fraudulent schemes that harm the U.S. economy.
Over the past year, the Division promoted several of our own career attorneys to positions of leadership in several of our sections and offices. We also look forward to welcoming new political leadership soon. In the meantime, we continue to move our work forward. From presidential administration to administration and under the leadership of multiple AAGs, the professional and diligent career staff of the Antitrust Division continue to advance the goal of competitive markets through our investigations and litigation.
As always, thank you for your interest in the work of the Antitrust Division.