US antitrust community rocked by allegations of political interference in DOJ decision-making

Introduction

Date: 3 July 2020. Duration: 16:15

The notion that decisions on antitrust investigations and merger reviews are made by the US Department of Justice at arm’s length from politics was challenged last month, with whistleblowers in the department suggesting the Trump administration interfered with the process. DOJ prosecutor John Elias told a US Congressional hearing about interference by DOJ leadership in decisions to open multiple investigations. The first was a probe of the car industry, following a deal struck by the state of California with four automakers on emissions standards — something that irked President Donald Trump. The second was an intervention by Attorney General William Barr to initiate burdensome reviews of 10 different acquisitions involving legal marijuana companies.

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