Washington, DC - The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, at the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), filed a civil antitrust lawsuit Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against Clarence L. Werner (Werner). Werner is the founder of Werner Enterprises Inc. (Werner Enterprises), one of the largest truckload carriers in the United States.
The lawsuit alleges that Werner violated the pre-transaction notification and waiting period requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976 (HSR Act) for acquisitions of Werner Enterprises voting securities, several of which were large open-market acquisitions made while he was serving as a director of Werner Enterprises. At the same time, the department filed a proposed settlement, subject to approval by the court, under which Werner has agreed to pay a $486,900 civil penalty to resolve the lawsuit.
The HSR Act imposes notification and waiting period requirements for transactions meeting certain size thresholds so that they can undergo pre-transaction antitrust review. Federal courts can assess civil penalties for pre-transaction notification violations under the HSR Act in lawsuits brought by the department. The maximum civil penalty for an HSR Act violation, which is adjusted annually, is currently $43,792 per day.