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Strategies for navigating joint antitrust division and criminal division investigations

October 9, 2014, Global Competition Review

Thomas Barnett, Lanny Breuer, Deborah Garza, Mythili Raman and Phillip Warren have written this article on what potential subjects should keep in mind as they attempt to navigate joint investigations by DOJ’s Criminal and Antitrust Divisions:

"In recent years, the US Department of Justice’s antitrust and criminal divisions have announced massive, joint investigations of potential market-manipulation schemes involving commodity and financial markets, most notably of the alleged manipulation of benchmark interest and foreign exchange rates. The criminal division and US attorneys’ offices have criminally prosecuted schemes to manipulate securities and commodity markets for many years. And the antitrust division has routinely supplemented antitrust charges with counts covering other crimes integral to the commission of antitrust offences. But these large joint antitrust and criminal division investigations are rare and of recent vintage." 

"The DoJ has not yet articulated a policy explaining what factors may trigger joint investigations. It is possible the DoJ will decide to confine joint investigations to cases involving market-manipulation schemes in global financial and commodity markets and will not expand the practice to investigations of other types of conduct in other sectors of the economy. Only time will tell." 

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