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Varney Highlights Agriculture Markets and Leegin in NAAG Remarks

October 8, 2009 Leave a comment

In her remarks to state antitrust enforcers and their federal counterparts yesterday, Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division (USDOJ), re-affirmed the importance of federal-state coordination in antitrust enforcement.  She provided some thoughts on how the Department views the Supreme’s Court’s recent decision in Leegin by outlining a “modern” rule of reason approach to resale price maintenance.  She also stressed the importance of working closely with the States on policing agricultural markets.

Most importantly, Varney reminded the audience of the important role the States play in antitrust enforcement.  My favorite quote from her remarks is this gem, gleaned from legislative history, which reminds us that the Sherman Act was intended to “arm the Federal courts … that they may co-operate with the State courts in checking, curbing, and controlling the most dangerous combinations that now threaten the business, property, and trade of the people of the United States.”

The occasion was NAAG’s Annual antitrust meeting, hosted this year in coordination with Columbia Law School. The full text of Varney’s remarks are available on the Justice Department’s website.