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Antitrust enforcers at the Department of Justice collected a whopping $1 billion in criminal fines in fiscal year 2009, an increase of 48 percent over 2008.

But don’t just chalk it up to the Obama administration’s get-tough stance on antitrust. According to an analysis released this week by Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, the majority of the fines came in the first half of the fiscal year — well before antitrust chief Christine Varney was confirmed in April 2009.

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