Member News

Justice Department Emphasizes Antitrust Enforcement Through Creations of Multi-Agency Antitrust and Bid-Rigging Strike Force

By, Matthew D. Ridings, Norman A. Bloch, and Tom Mason, Partners of Thompson Hine, LLP

The United States Department of Justice, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Department of Defense, U.S. Postal Service, and 13 U.S. Attorneys, announced last week the creation of the Procurement Collusion Strike Force (PCSF), which is designed to step up the government’s efforts to target bid rigging and other collusive behavior in government contracting, procurement, and grant and program funding.

The PCSF will lead a national effort to combat antitrust violations on a federal, state, and local level. The PCSF will initially focus on 13 districts throughout the country that receive significant government funding, which include New York, Washington, D.C., Virginia, Ohio, Illinois, and California. The PCSF will be training government contracting officers and government procurement officials on how to spot collusive behavior and other antitrust violations, and will jointly investigate and prosecute cases that stem from the PCSF’s outreach efforts.

The creation of the PCSF follows on the heels of the Justice Department’s overhaul of its antitrust compliance program guidelines, which were significantly revised this past summer. The updated guidelines from the Justice Department create a strict framework of requirements for an antitrust compliance program if a company intends to rely on its compliance program to avoid prosecution or reduce its liability. If you have any questions about the newly-formed Strike Force, the creation or review of an antitrust compliance program, or how increased antitrust enforcement may affect your business, please contact an attorney in our Antitrust, Government Enforcement, or Government Contracts groups.

Compliments of Thompson Hine, LLP, a Member of the EACCNY