DOJ Creates Consent Decree Enforcement Division

Department of Justice
(Image credit: Future)

The Department of Justice has created the a new office in the Antitrust division to oversee enforcement of consent decrees, like the one that allowed Sprint and T-Mobile to merge.

The Office of Decree Enforcement and Compliance will have the primary responsibility for enforcing consent decrees and judgments in civil matters and advise the criminal section when parties seek credit for corporate compliance programs. 

Related: DOJ Updates Vertical Merger Guidelines 

It will also be the point of contact for anyone with information on possible violations of final judgments. 

Antitrust Division chief Makan Delrahim is no big fan of conditioned mergers, arguing that those are efforts to make illegal mergers legal, with DOJ having to act as an ongoing monitor. 

“The Office of Decree Enforcement and Compliance will ensure the American consumer fully benefits from the Antitrust Division’s hard work identifying anticompetitive mergers and conduct,” said Delrahim. “We are building on our recent successes in Live Nation and CenturyLink. Those matters show how important it is to enforce our consent decrees vigilantly.” 

Last week, Justice and broadband/telecom company CenturyLink settled allegations that the company violated the conditions of its acquisition of Level 3. 

The Office of Decree Enforcement and Compliance will be headed Lawrence Reicher, most recently counsel to the assistant attorney general (Delrahim). 

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.