US Government Enforcement

Marking the first change in lead US antitrust enforcers since President Obama put his team in place, Christine Varney announced on 6 July 2011 that she would be resigning as the head of the US Department of Justice (DoJ) Antitrust Division.1 Ms Varney assumed her position in April 2009, quickly highlighting a significant difference with the prior administration by announcing the following month that she was withdrawing a controversial 2008 report about single-firm conduct under section 2 of the Sherman Act (section 2) because she found certain parts of the report’s conclusions too permissive of anti-competitive conduct.2 Ms Varney also promised that the US antitrust agencies would ‘vigorously’ apply the antitrust laws to police US markets.3 Upon resigning, Ms Varney assessed her tenure as having ‘fulfilled [her] promise and more.’4