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Antitrust Law

Antitrust Chief Set to Announce Stronger Predatory Behavior Rules

Posted May 11, 2009 8:46 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Christine Varney, the chief of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, will announce today a tougher antitrust stance supporting smaller companies that complain of aggressive tactics by market-dominating rivals.

Varney will call for aggressive action against dominant companies that engage in predatory behavior in two speeches, the first today at the Center for American Progress and the second tomorrow at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Bloomberg reports. Varney will warn judges and litigants to ignore the more lenient policies of the Bush administration, outlined in a report last year, the New York Times reports.

University of Iowa law professor Herbert Hovenkamp told the New York Times that Varney’s announcement “will be bad news for heavyweights in the tech industries—companies like Google and Microsoft.”

“People aligned with plaintiffs will rejoice,” Hovenkamp told the Times. “Those aligned with defendants will wring their hands. A lot of law firms will be indifferent because they take money from both sides.”

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