Washington, DC - The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division today filed a motion and supporting papers, seeking to terminate 19 “legacy” judgments in the District Court for the District of Columbia. Today’s court filing is part of the Antitrust Division’s effort to terminate decades-old antitrust judgments that no longer serve their original purpose.
“Today we have taken an important next step toward eliminating antitrust judgments that no longer protect competition,” said Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, Makan Delrahim. “Today’s filing is the first of many that we will make in courts around the country in our effort to terminate obsolete judgments.”
In its motion filed today, the Antitrust Division explained that perpetual judgments rarely continue to protect competition, and those that are more than ten years old should be terminated absent compelling circumstances. Other reasons for terminating the judgments include that essential terms of the judgment have been satisfied, most defendants likely no longer exist, the judgment largely prohibits that which the antitrust laws already prohibit, and market conditions likely have changed. Each of these reasons suggests the judgments no longer serve to protect competition.
The Antitrust Division announced in April its initiative to terminate legacy antitrust judgments, stating that it would review all such judgments to identify those that no longer serve to protect competition. In its prior announcement, the Antitrust Division set forth the process by which it would seek the termination of outdated judgments. It also established a new public website (https://www.justice.gov/atr/JudgmentTermination) to serve as the primary source of information for the public regarding the initiative.
At the time that the Antitrust Division announced the initiative, it posted on its public website the legacy judgments in federal district court in Washington, D.C. and in Alexandria, Virginia. After a 30-day public comment period, the Antitrust Division concluded that termination of these 19 judgments is appropriate.
Since the announcement of its initiative, the Antitrust Division has posted for public comment judgments in 19 additional federal district courts. It will continue to post judgments periodically as review of those judgments by Antitrust Division attorneys is completed.