FRIDAY, MAY 31, 2022
Remember me:
Just Anticorruption
Varney Stresses Antitrust Triumphs Over Past Year
By Andrew Ramonas | July 27, 2022 3:01 pm

The Justice Department’s top antitrust official told members of a House panel Tuesday that her first year on the job has been “remarkable,” detailing the cases her unit has handled thus far and suggesting that, taken together, the cases paint a portrait of an aggressive team of regulators who are not afraid to go to court.

Christine Varney (photo by Andrew Ramonas / Main Justice)

Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney, who has led the Antitrust Division since April 2009, told lawmakers that her section’s assertive posture helps it resolve concerns about mergers in ways suitable to both parties.

“We are committed to going to court to block those mergers that will substantially reduce competition,” Varney said, according to prepared remarks. “The commitment to litigate enhances our ability to negotiate settlements that simultaneously enable any pro-competitive aspects of a deal to go forward yet also prevent harm to consumers.”

The Justice Department approved a merger between ticket giant Ticketmaster and concert promoter Live Nation earlier this year, for example, only after the firm agreed to spin off one ticketing unit, license some of its software, and refrain from a host of practices the DOJ determined could be anti-competitive.

The Antitrust Division also sued dairy giant Dean Foods in January, seeking to undo its 2009 purchase of some milk processing plants in Wisconsin. That deal was not subject to antitrust scrutiny before it closed because it did not meet the size threshold for a regulatory review.

“[W]e are doing all we can to ensure that our markets are open and fair,” Varney said at today’s oversight hearing, which was held in front of the House Judiciary courts and competition subcommittee.

Committee Chairman John Conyers (D-Mich.), who said anti-competitive practices are “roaring down the runway,” argued that antitrust issues have grown more technical and complex.

“Antitrust enforcement is critical to the capitalist system,” Conyers said. “Free and competitive markets are the foundation of an economy like ours. When the markets fail, the economy fails.”

Lamar Smith of Texas, the ranking Republican on the committee, said he supports the strong defense of antitrust laws, but called on antitrust leaders to be transparent and reasonable on enforcement.

“American businesses need to have clear rules of the road in order to compete effectively against each other and in world markets,” Smith said.

Additional reporting by Aruna Viswanatha.



  1. отдых says:


    Varney Stresses Antitrust Triumphs Over Past Year | Main Justice…

  2. galaxy s3 cover case says:

    galaxy s3 cover case…

    Varney Stresses Antitrust Triumphs Over Past Year | Main Justice…

  3. says:…

    Varney Stresses Antitrust Triumphs Over Past Year | Main Justice…

FCPA TRAILBLAZERS: Finalists are announced in Main Justice's 2013 Best FCPA Lawyer Client Service Awards category, FCPA Trailblazers. Trailblazers honors firms with a mix of high-profile, politically sensitive cases and those forging new frontiers in declinations or other strategies.

"Prosecutors tend to have a somewhat insular mindset, not always able to see clearly beyond the walls of their cases." - Daily Beast's Daniel Klaidman on why DOJ line prosecutors were indifferent - or oblivious - to the uproar they'd cause by searching a reporter's emails.