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When announcing the indictments of corporate officials who are charged with criminal violations of Section 1 of the Sherman Act for their participation in an international conspiracy to fix prices of refrigerant compressors, Acting Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division Sharis Pozen stated, “Cracking down on international price fixing cartels has been and will continue to be among the most significant priorities for the Antitrust Division.” It is no secret that we sometimes disagree with, and are critical of, the government’s application of the antitrust laws to constrain single firm business conduct and acquisition transactions. However, when it comes to enforcing the antitrust laws against naked price fixing or territorial and customer allocations among competitors, we readily join the chorus of all of the divergent schools of economic thinking addressing the operation of free markets that have zero tolerance for cartel behavior.

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