United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division

Competition law
Basic concepts
Anti-competitive practices
Enforcement authorities and organizations
Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division Joseph Wayland and FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz with Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) Vice Minister Gao Hucheng and State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) Vice Minister Teng Jiacai on September 25, 2012.

The United States Department of Justice Antitrust Division is responsible for enforcing the antitrust laws of the United States. It shares jurisdiction over civil antitrust cases with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and often works jointly with the FTC to provide regulatory guidance to businesses. However, the Antitrust Division also has the power to file criminal cases against willful violators of the antitrust laws. The Antitrust Division also works with competition regulators in other countries.


The head of the Antitrust Division is an Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust (AAG-AT) appointed by the President of the United States. The current AAG-AT is William Baer, whom the U.S. Senate confirmed on December 30, 2012.[1]


The Antitrust Division is overseen by Assistant Attorney General William Baer. The Assistant Attorney General is assisted by five Deputy Assistant Attorneys General, who are all career attorneys, who each oversee a different branch of the Division's sections.

The proposed closure of four of the Antitrust Division's seven field offices has been a matter of significant controversy within the Division and among members of Congress. The Attorney General has posited that the closure of these offices will save money and not negatively affect criminal enforcement. A significant number of career prosecutors have voiced contrary opinions, noting that the elimination of half of the Division's criminal enforcement offices will increase travel expenses and diminish the likelihood of uncovering local or regional conspiracies.


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