Obama Antitrust Chief Gets Tough on Big Biz

In reversal of Bush policy, the DOJ will aggressively enforce anti-monopoly laws
By Clay Dillow,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2009 8:47 AM CDT
President Obama's DOJ antitrust chief will actively pursue companies that dominate their smaller rivals.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The Obama administration’s top antitrust official plans to aggressively pursue a tougher enforcement policy to keep large corporations from dominating smaller rivals, the New York Times reports. In speeches today and tomorrow, Justice Department antitrust chief Christine Varney will announce the reversal of lax Bush-era antitrust policies, and encourage small businesses to bring complaints forward.

During the Bush administration, the Justice Department didn’t file a single case against a dominant firm for violating anti-monopoly laws, as policies in place favored the defendants. Varney will refute the idea that during recessions government should take a passive approach to antitrust enforcement, taking aim at agriculture, health care, energy, and technology firms—and possibly reviewing the conduct of some in the financial sector.