Recap: American Bar Association’s antitrust meeting

New leaders highlight their prospective plans

Last week, the American Bar Association (ABA) held its 61st annual spring antitrust meeting, which this year attracted a record crowd of more than 2,700 attendees. The meeting, which took place in Washington, D.C., was an opportunity for new antitrust leaders to preview their plans and what they’ll focus on in their roles.

Bill Baer, who was confirmed Dec. 30, 2012, as assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Antitrust Division, announced on Friday a policy change that will be a boon to corporate defendants. The policy stipulates that when companies enter into price-fixing plea deals with the DOJ, the written agreements will no longer publicly identify executives who may be subject to prosecution.

“Absent some significant justification, it is ordinarily not appropriate to publicly identify uncharged third-party wrongdoers,” Baer said in a written statement released shortly before he took the ABA stage.

Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, who assumed her position in March, also spoke about her agency’s antitrust plans. She told the ABA audience on Friday that she expects the FTC will continue to focus on antitrust issues in the health care and technology sectors while remaining active on consumer-protection and privacy issues.

Read the Wall Street Journal for more about the ABA antitrust meeting.

For more recent antitrust-related coverage from InsideCounsel, read:

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Anheuser-Busch, DOJ reportedly close to $20 billion merger deal

Antitrust case against Minor League Baseball can proceed in Florida

Panelists discuss whether pay-for-delay settlements violate antitrust laws

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Google emerges from FTC antitrust probe largely unscathed

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