Thursday, February 05, 2009

Department of Justice Antitrust Amnesty Letters Released

This posting was written by Jeffrey May, Editor of CCH Trade Regulation Reporter.

The Department of Justice Antitrust Division has made available on its website redacted copies of amnesty letters issued between August 10,1993, and November 18, 2008, under its leniency program.

The Antitrust Division had agreed to release 100 letters entered into between August 1993 and October 14, 2005, under a settlement resolving a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) action brought against the Department of Justice by Stolt-Nielsen.

The settlement resolved a dispute over a FOIA request made by Stolt-Nielsen—a supplier of parcel tanker shipping services that was indicted for antitrust violations after its conditional leniency was revoked. The indictment was subsequently dismissed after it was determined that the revocation of the immunity was improper (2007-2 Trade Cases ¶75,962). The settlement also required the government to pay $40,000 in fees to Stolt-Nielsen's law firm White & Case.

A January 27, 2009, order of the federal district court in Washington, D.C., dismissing the case pursuant to the settlement agreement appears at 2009-1 Trade Cases ¶76,472. Last July, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C. vacated a lower court’s decision concluding that the Justice Department was justified in withholding from disclosure the amnesty agreements (2008-2 Trade Cases ¶76,232).

The redacted letters appear here on the Antitrust Division's website.

No comments: