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From Antitrust Law Daily, July 9, 2018

Justice Department moves to terminate first 19 ‘legacy’ antitrust judgments

By Jeffrey May, J.D.

A 91-year-old consent decree, prohibiting a defunct trade association and ITS members from conspiring to restrain trade in amusement tickets, is among 19 antitrust judgments that the federal district court in Washington, D.C. is being asked to terminate. Today, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division filed a motion to terminate these "legacy" antitrust judgments as part of an effort announced in April to clear the books of judgments that no longer serve their original purpose.

The remaining 18 judgments involve decades-old cases against other trade associations and against individual companies that are no longer in business, such as Pan Am, or companies that have rebranded, such as Standard Register Company. The government contends that "because of their age and changed circumstances since their entry, these decades-old judgments no longer serve to protect competition." The Justice Department sought public comment on the termination of the judgments, and it received comments opposing termination.

"Today we have taken an important next step toward eliminating antitrust judgments that no longer protect competition," said Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division, in announcing the move. "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In April, the Antitrust Division announced plans to terminate outdated judgments, noting that there were nearly 1,300 legacy judgments remaining on the books. At that time, it said that it would review all of its legacy judgments to identify those that no longer serve to protect competition. Each judgment was assigned to an Antitrust Division attorney, who was to examine court papers, internal case files, and publicly available information to determine whether each judgment continues to serve competition.

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