7-1.000 - Policy and Organization
|The Antitrust Division's Responsibilities
|Organization of the Antitrust Division
|Authorization, Referrals, and Clearance
7-1.100 - Antitrust Policy
The U.S. antitrust laws represent the legal embodiment of our nation's commitment to competition and the competitive process. They “rest on the premise that the unrestrained interaction of competitive forces will yield the best allocation of our economic resources, the lowest prices, the highest quality, and the greatest material progress, while at the same time providing an environment conductive to the preservation of our democratic political and social institutions.” Northern Pacific R. Co. v. United States, 356 U.S. 1, 4 (1958).
The Antitrust Division’s mission is to promote economic competition through enforcing and providing guidance on antitrust laws and principles.
7-1.200 - The Antitrust Division's Responsibilities
To ensure a consistent national, Department-wide policy on antitrust questions and consistent enforcement of federal antitrust laws, the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division is responsible for supervising all federal antitrust investigations and proceedings. 28 C.F.R. § 0.40.
The Antitrust Division accomplishes its mission in two principal ways. First, as an enforcement agency, it prosecutes violations criminally and civilly, primarily under the Sherman and Clayton Acts. Second, it advocates competition before congressional committees and federal regulatory agencies, articulating pro-competitive solutions for economic problems.
7-1.300 - Organization of the Antitrust Division
|Office of the Assistant Attorney General
|Criminal Offices and Sections
|Expert Analysis Group
|Competition Policy and Advocacy Section
7-1.310 - Office of the Assistant Attorney General
The Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division is the Division’s chief representative and is responsible for leadership and oversight of all the Division’s programs and policies. The Assistant Attorney General is assisted by, among others, Deputy Assistant Attorneys General, Directors, and a Chief Legal Advisor.
Specific names, titles, and telephone numbers for individuals in the Office of the Assistant Attorney General are available at: https://www.justice.gov/atr/antitrust-division-leadership-section-and-office-directory#oaag
7-1.320 - Criminal Offices and Sections
Five Antitrust Division offices and sections are dedicated to criminal enforcement: three offices, located in Chicago, New York, and San Francisco, and two sections based in Washington, DC (Washington Criminal I Section and Washington Criminal II Section). Each office and section investigates and prosecutes matters arising in its territory, as well as national and international matters in a wide range of industries. They also serve as the Antitrust Division’s liaison with U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and other law enforcement agencies. A map of territories is available at: https://www.justice.gov/atr/about-division/criminal-sections-and-offices
The Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF) is the Department’s coordinated, national response to collusion in public procurement. An interagency partnership led by the Division, the PCSF is staffed by attorneys from the Division’s criminal offices. Interagency partners include U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and national law enforcement agencies (current partners are listed on the PCSF’s public website). The PCSF mobilizes resources in a decentralized, district-based model to conduct outreach and training, and investigations and prosecutions, into conduct that undermines competition in government procurement. Each district team is staffed by at least one Division trial attorney, an Assistant United States Attorney, and agents from each of the national law enforcement partners. PCSF investigations and prosecutions are assigned to a Division criminal office.
Contact information for the Antitrust Division’s Criminal Offices and Sections is available at: https://www.justice.gov/atr/antitrust-division-leadership-section-and-office-directory#sections
7-1.330 - Civil Sections
Seven sections based in Washington, DC are dedicated to the Antitrust Division’s civil enforcement: Defense, Industrials and Aerospace Section; Financial Services, Fintech, and Banking Section; Healthcare and Consumer Products Section; Media, Entertainment, and Communications Section; Technology and Digital Platforms Section; Transportation, Energy and Agriculture Section; and Civil Conduct Task Force. The civil enforcement sections investigate and prosecute civil antitrust violations, including anticompetitive mergers and civil conduct, within their areas of expertise.
The Defense, Industrials, and Aerospace Section (DIA) focuses on the areas of defense, avionics and aeronautics, industrial equipment, road and highway construction, metals and mining, and waste industries.
The Financial Services, Fintech, and Banking Section (FFB) focuses on the areas of financial services, securities industries, credit cards, debit cards, banking, insurance (except health insurance), real estate services, printing, book and journal publishing, advertising agencies, and concert and event promotion and venues.
The Healthcare and Consumer Products Section (HCP) focuses on the areas of health insurance, healthcare and IT related products, pulp, paper, timber, photography, film, appliances, food products, and cosmetics.
The Media, Entertainment, and Communications Section (MEC) focuses on the areas of media (television, radio, and newspapers); entertainment (video services, audio services, television and motion-picture production, sports and recreation, and gambling); and communications (mobile wireless services, Internet services, commercial satellite communications services, and telecommunications equipment and infrastructure).
The Technology and Digital Platforms Section (TDP) focuses on the areas of computer hardware and software, gig economy platforms, high-technology component manufacturing, and professional associations.
The Transportation, Energy, and Agriculture Section (TEA) focuses on the areas of domestic and international aviation; railroad, trucking, and ocean shipping; electricity; hotel, restaurant, and travel services; oil field services; agricultural biotech; and food products, crops, seeds, fish, and livestock.
The Civil Conduct Task Force focuses on civil conduct investigations across a broad range of industries and economic sectors.
Contact information for the Antitrust Division’s Civil Sections is available at: https://www.justice.gov/atr/antitrust-division-leadership-section-and-office-directory#sections
7-1.340 - Expert Analysis Group
The Expert Analysis Group comprises three sections: Economic Litigation Section, Economic Regulatory Section, and Economic Policy Section. Antitrust Division economists work with attorneys in the Antitrust Division on all civil enforcement, regulatory proceeding, and competition advocacy matters.
Contact information for the Antitrust Division’s economics sections is available at: https://www.justice.gov/atr/antitrust-division-leadership-section-and-office-directory#sections
7-1.350 - Appellate Section
The Antitrust Division’s Appellate Section represents the Antitrust Division in all appeals to the United States Courts of Appeals and, in conjunction with the Office of the Solicitor General, all appeals before the United States Supreme Court. It also supports the filing of statements of interest and other submissions in the federal district courts.
Contact information for the Antitrust Division’s Appellate Section is available at: https://www.justice.gov/atr/antitrust-division-leadership-section-and-office-directory#sections
7-1.360 - International Section
The International Section assists the Antitrust Division with international aspects of civil and criminal investigations and litigation, and is primarily responsible, at the staff level, for the development of Antitrust Division policy on international antitrust enforcement and competition policy issues. The International Section also handles the Antitrust Division’s relations and cooperation with international organizations and non-U.S. antitrust enforcement agencies, including its compliance with notification and other obligations pursuant to various bilateral and multilateral agreements to which the United States is a party.
Contact information for the Antitrust Division’s International Section is available at: https://www.justice.gov/atr/antitrust-division-leadership-section-and-office-directory#sections
7-1.370 - Competition Policy and Advocacy Section
The Competition Policy and Advocacy Section is responsible for the development and implementation of the Antitrust Division’s significant policy initiatives and the advancement of the Division’s interests relating to Congress.
Contact information for the Antitrust Division’s Competition Policy and Advocacy Section is available at: https://www.justice.gov/atr/antitrust-division-leadership-section-and-office-directory#sections
7-1.400 - Authorization, Referrals, and Clearance
If a law enforcement agent or attorney outside the Antitrust Division identifies evidence of a potential antitrust violation, they should contact the Antitrust Division, which will determine whether the Antitrust Division or the Federal Trade Commission is investigating or has investigated the same conduct, and if not, who should investigate and prosecute it, if warranted. Contact information is available at: Antitrust Division Leadership, Section, and Office Directory.
In most cases, the Antitrust Division will investigate alleged anticompetitive conduct. A United States Attorney’s Office can independently investigate and prosecute civil and criminal antitrust violations only after first seeking and receiving the approval of the Assistant Attorney General or the Assistant Attorney General’s designee. See JM 7-3.600 for more information on criminal approvals.
All requests to initiate antitrust investigations—whether civil or criminal—are subject to a long-standing inter-agency “clearance” process with the Federal Trade Commission. The Antitrust Division has exclusive jurisdiction over alleged criminal conduct.