Argos USA LLC, a producer and seller of ready-mix concrete headquartered in Alpharetta, Georgia, was charged with participating in a conspiracy to fix prices, rig bids, and allocate markets for sales of ready-mix concrete in the Southern District of Georgia and elsewhere, the Department of Justice announced today.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Ready-Mix Concrete Company Admits to Fixing Prices and Rigging Bids in Violation of Antitrust Laws
On Dec. 23, 2020, President Donald J. Trump signed into law the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act (the “Act”), which prohibits employers from retaliating against certain individuals who report criminal antitrust violations. The Act was sponsored by Senator Chuck Grassley, passed the Senate on Oct. 17, 2019, and passed the House of Representatives on Dec. 8, 2020.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department Applauds Passage of the Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act
On Dec. 21, 2020, The American Society of Composers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the two largest performance rights organizations (PROs) in the United States, announced the launch of SONGVIEW, a “comprehensive data platform that provides music users with an authoritative view of public performance copyright ownership and administration shares for the vast majority of music licensed in the United States.”
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department Commends ASCAP and BMI’s Launch of SONGVIEW
Today, the Attorneys General of Michigan and Wisconsin filed for permission to join the antitrust lawsuit filed by the United States and eleven other state Attorneys General against monopolist Google. This follows a similar recent motion by the California Attorney General to join the lawsuit on December 11, 2020.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Three Additional States Ask Court To Join Justice Department Antitrust Suit Against Google
The Department of Justice announced today that it would require Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (Harvard Pilgrim) and Health Plan Holdings (fka Tufts Health Plan) to divest Tufts Health Freedom Plan Inc. (Tufts Freedom), in order to proceed with their merger. Tufts Freedom is Health Plan Holdings’ commercial health insurance business in New Hampshire. The department has approved UnitedHealth Group Inc. (United), as the buyer. Health insurance is an integral part of the American healthcare system, and the proposed settlement will maintain competition for the sale of commercial health insurance to private employers in New Hampshire with fewer than 100 employees.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department Requires Divestiture of Tufts Health Freedom Plan in Order for Harvard Pilgrim and Health Plan Holdings to Proceed With Merger
A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Neeraj Jindal, the former owner of a therapist staffing company, for participating in a conspiracy to fix prices by lowering the rates paid to physical therapists and physical therapist assistants in north Texas, including the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area, the Department of Justice announced today. The indictment also charges Jindal with obstruction of the Federal Trade Commission’s separate investigation into this conduct.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Former Owner of Health Care Staffing Company Indicted for Wage Fixing
According to the two-count indictment filed in the U.S. District Court in Sherman, Texas, Jindal and his co-conspirators agreed to pay lower rates to certain physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, and Jindal’s company paid lower rates, from in or about March 2017 and continuing through in or about August 2017.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, FORMER OWNER OF HEALTH CARE STAFFING COMPANY INDICTED FOR WAGE FIXING
The Eastern District of Texas has partnered with the Antitrust Division to indict Neeraj Jindal, 48, of Flower Mound, Texas.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Eastern District of Texas Announces Partnership with the Antitrust Division to Protect Competition in Marketplace
The Department of Justice announced today that it is requiring Intuit Inc. and Credit Karma Inc. (Credit Karma) to divest Credit Karma’s tax business, Credit Karma Tax, to Square Inc. in order for Intuit, the creator of TurboTax, to proceed with its $7.1 billion acquisition of Credit Karma. The department said that without this divestiture, the proposed transaction would substantially lessen competition for digital do-it-yourself (DDIY) tax preparation products, which are software programs used by American taxpayers to prepare and file their federal and state returns.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department Requires Divestiture of Credit Karma Tax for Intuit to Proceed with Acquisition of Credit Karma
Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division issued the following statement on his participation in the Robert H. Jackson Center’s virtual reading of Justice Jackson’s opening statement at Nuremberg for the 75th anniversary of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg:
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim Issues Statement Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg
The Department of Justice today filed a civil lawsuit against the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) alleging that NAR established and enforced illegal restraints on the ways that REALTORS® compete.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department Files Antitrust Case and Simultaneous Settlement Requiring National Association of Realtors® To Repeal and Modify Certain Anticompetitive Rules
Yesterday, the Department of Justice signed an antitrust Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Korean Prosecution Service (KPS). The MOU is designed to promote increased cooperation and communication on criminal antitrust enforcement and policy in both countries.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department Signs Antitrust Memorandum of Understanding with Korean Prosecution Service
Delmar E. Church Jr., the president and one of the principal owners of a Chicago-area commercial flooring company, pleaded guilty for his role in a conspiracy to rig bids and fix prices for commercial flooring services and products sold in the United States, the Department of Justice announced. The defendant is cooperating with the department’s ongoing investigation.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, President of Commercial Flooring Company Pleads Guilty to Rigging Bids in Violation of Federal Antitrust Laws
The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice announced the publication of two new resources on its website today.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department Issues Guidance On The Use Of Arbitration And Launches Small Business Help Center
The Justice Department announced today that the Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF) is adding 11 new national partners to the Strike Force, for a total of 29 agencies and offices committed on the national level to combatting collusion, antitrust crimes and related fraudulent schemes, which undermine competition in government procurement, grant and program funding.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department’s Procurement Collusion Strike Force Announces Eleven New National Partners
Today, the Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to stop Visa Inc.’s $5.3 billion acquisition of Plaid Inc. Visa is a monopolist in online debit services, charging consumers and merchants billions of dollars in fees each year to process online payments. Plaid, a successful fintech firm, is developing a payments platform that would challenge Visa’s monopoly.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department Sues to Block Visa’s Proposed Acquisition of Plaid
Today, the Department of Justice filed a petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts to enforce Bain & Company’s compliance with the department’s Civil Investigative Demand (CID).
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department Files Enforcement Action Against Bain& Company As Part of Its Investigation Into Visa Inc’s Proposed Acquisition of Plaid Inc
The Department of Justice announced today that Waste Management, Inc. (WMI) will be required to divest 15 landfills, 37 transfer stations, 29 hauling locations, over 200 waste collection routes, and other assets in order to proceed with its $4.6 billion acquisition of Advanced Disposal Services, Inc. (ADS). The department said that without the divestiture, the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition for small container commercial waste collection or municipal solid waste disposal services in over 50 local markets.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department Requires Waste Management To Divest Assets In Order To Proceed With Advanced Disposal Services Acquisition
The Department of Justice announced today that it is requiring Liberty Latin America Ltd. (Liberty), its subsidiary, Liberty Communications of Puerto Rico LLC (LCPR), and AT&T Inc. (AT&T) to divest certain fiber-based telecommunications assets and customer accounts in Puerto Rico, in order for Liberty to proceed with its proposed acquisition of AT&T’s wireline and wireless telecommunications operations in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The department has approved WorldNet Telecommunications, Inc. (WorldNet) as the acquirer.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department Requires Divestiture In Order For Liberty Latin America To Acquire AT&T’s Telecommunications Operations In Puerto Rico And The U.S. Virgin Islands
A federal grand jury in Raleigh, North Carolina returned an indictment charging Contech Engineered Solutions LLC and Brent Brewbaker, a former executive at the company, for participating in long-standing conspiracies to rig bids and defraud the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC DOT), the Department of Justice announced.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Engineering Firm And Its Former Executive Indicted On Antitrust And Fraud Charges
The Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice today presented Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg with the John Sherman Award for his lifetime contributions to the development of antitrust law and the preservation of economic liberty. The award is the Department of Justice’s highest antitrust honor. Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim presented the award and gave remarks celebrating Judge Ginsburg’s contributions during a ceremony displayed virtually and conducted at the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building. Judge Ginsburg also delivered remarks in accepting the award.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, The Honorable Douglas H. Ginsburg Receives Justice Department’s 2020 John Sherman Award
Today, the Department of Justice — along with eleven state Attorneys General — filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to stop Google from unlawfully maintaining monopolies through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices in the search and search advertising markets and to remedy the competitive harms. The participating state Attorneys General offices represent Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina, and Texas.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department Sues Monopolist Google For Violating Antitrust Laws
A federal grand jury in the U.S. District Court in Denver, Colorado, returned a superseding indictment charging six additional defendants for their roles in a previously indicted conspiracy to fix prices and rig bids for broiler chicken products, and containing additional allegations against the previously charged defendants in the same conspiracy, the Department of Justice announced today. The superseding indictment also charges one defendant with making false statements and obstruction of justice.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Six Additional Individuals Indicted On Antitrust Charges In Ongoing Broiler Chicken Investigation
The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division announced today that it has completed its review of the proposal by the International Swaps and Derivatives Association Inc. (ISDA) to amend its standardized model documentation for derivatives to account for the potential discontinuation of certain interbank offered rates (collectively referred to as “IBORs”). The department has concluded, based on the representations in ISDA’s letter request, including its description of certain safeguards, that ISDA’s proposed amendments to its standardized documentation are unlikely to harm competition. Therefore, the department does not presently intend to challenge ISDA’s proposed amendments to its standardized documentation for derivatives.
Source: DOJ Press Releases, Justice Department Issues Favorable Business Review Letter To ISDA For Proposed Amendments To Address Interest Rate Benchmarks