Because antitrust investigators at the Justice Department made such quick work of their investigations into the United/Continental and NBC/Universal mergers, they apparently have plenty of free time to wonder why there are no playoffs in the Bowl Championship Series. [More]
A day after the one-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which killed 11 offshore rig workers, released millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, and earned BP the title of Worst Company In America, the Golden Poo winners announced that it has reached an agreement to pony up another $1 billion toward Gulf restoration efforts. [More]
A Morgan Stanley unit is under investigation by the Justice Department for foreclosing on nearly two dozen military families without a court hearing, a violation of Federal law meant to protect active duty service members. [More]
The Justice Department has fined 21 airlines in a massive global price-fixing scheme. British Airways, Air France-KLM and Virgin Atlantic were among the airlines indicted. Even four executives have gone to jail. What did they do? The JD charges that the airlines colluded to artificially inflate fuel surcharges for passengers industry-wide, as well as cargo surcharges. The case probably wouldn’t have been broken if Luthansa and Virgin Atlantic hadn’t come forward and confessed under the Justice Department’s amnesty program that provides leniency for finking. In an interesting turn, the scheme was so codified that various airlines had entire committees and sub-committees devoted to managing it. [More]
Crimefighters at the Justice Department put on their antitrust capes today, filing a lawsuit against Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. The DOJ alleges the insurance company violated antitrust laws by asking hospitals to sign contracts that precluded other insurers from offering a better discount. [More]
The Justice Department sued Amex today, saying that the restrictions it places on merchants were anti-competitive. According to the complaint, the rules “impede merchants from promoting or encouraging the use of a competing credit or charge card with lower card acceptance fees.” [More]
The US Justice Department is said to be close to a decision on whether credit card companies can continue to forbid merchants from charging extra to customers who use credit cards to cover the cost of the credit card processing fees (usually 1-5% of the price). [More]
The U.S. Department of Justice is reportedly investigating Apple, to determine whether the company used its position as the nation’s largest music retailer to unfairly influence music labels. Apple allegedly told labels not to offer exclusives to Amazon.com, and punished those that didn’t comply by dropping marketing support on iTunes. [More]
The consumer group Consumer Watchdog is planning to ask the Justice Department to “launch an antitrust action against the search giant and seek remedies including a possible break up,” reports the San Francisco Chronicle. The group will host a press conference in Washington, D.C. tomorrow where it will argue that there’s enough evidence to warrant antitrust action from the feds. [More]
Attention mean commenters: watch what you say or the Justice Department will hunt you down. Seriously! The U.S. Attorney in Nevada subpoenaed the Las Vegas Review-Journal to reveal the identities of two anonymous commenters whose statements could be read as mildly threatening to jurors involved in a tax case, if you’ve never read internet comments before.
Ticketmaster is an evil monopoly that steals cash from defenseless consumers. They are infinitely more evil than their hated 30% surcharge would suggest, and they must be destroyed.
Wachovia, you old rascal! As soon as you wrap up one unsavory scandal, a new possible scandal comes to light. U.S. justice authorities are investigating the bank for possible money laundering through Mexican and Colombian money-transfer businesses. The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that “the bank is possibly facing a deferred-prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice that would subject it to ‘extensive federal oversight,'” but Wachovia denies that any such discussion has taken place.
The FBI has opened an investigation into Countrywide for suspected securities fraud, reports the New York Times. The Justice Department and FBI “are looking at whether officials at Countrywide, the nation’s largest mortgage lender, misrepresented its financial condition and the soundness of its loans in security filings.” So far everything is unofficial because nobody has been authorized to discuss the case, and a Countrywide spokeswoman says, “”We are not aware of any such investigation.”
Remember how Sen. Specter wanted those corporate-wrongdoing rules eased last week? Yesterday, his wish came true. In the wake of the 2003 Worldcom scandals, federal prosecutors received new powers in the form of guidelines written by then deputy attorney general, Larry D. Thompson.
• 4th worst spammer in the world gets $1 million fine and is stripped of his powers to make your penis bigger. [CT]
In a blatant maneuver to put the “scur” into tax evaders, the Justice Department is seeking a court order against a Michigan couple promoting what the government says is the number one tax dodge scheme in America.
Victims of identity theft numbered an estimated 3.6 million in 2004, according to a new report by the Justice Department.