Sponsor: WIGGINS, Charles Edward (R-CA)
Description: TO RECOMMIT H.R. 8532 TO THE COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY WITH INSTRUCTIONS TO CONDUCT A STUDY TO FIND A CIVIL PENALTY OR FINE TO DETER ANTITRUST VIOLATIONS.
Bill summary: (Senate agreed to House amendments to Senate amendments with amendment, roll call #568 (69-18))
=Title I: Antitrust Civil Process Act Amendments= - Revises the discovery procedures and requirements for Federal civil antitrust investigations. Revises the procedures and requirements for seeking an order modifying or setting aside discovery demands by the Justice Department in antitrust cases.
=Title II: Premerger Notification= - Provides, under the Clayton Act, that no corporation shall
acquire, directly or indirectly, any voting securities, or assets of any other corporation, if: (1) the acquiring corporation or the corporation, any voting securities, or assets of which are being acquired, is engaged in commerce or in an activity affecting commerce; and (2) specified dollar asset and sale limitations are exceeded; until 30 days after such corporation files a premerger notification with the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department.
Exempts specified classes of transactions from the notification requirement of this Act.
Provides for a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each day during which a corporation or person directly or indirectly holds any voting securities or assets in violation of this Act.
=Title III: Parens Patriae Act= - Permits any State attorney general to bring a civil action, in the name of State, in the district courts of the United States under this Act, and such State shall be entitled in recover threefold the damages and the cost of suit, including a reasonable attorney's fee, as parens patriae on behalf of natural persons residing in such State injured by any violation of the Sherman Act.
Requires notice to be given by publication of actions brought under this Act. Provides for persons on whose behalf actions under this Act are brought to elect to exclude their claims from adjudiciation by the State attorney general as parens patriae.
Authorizes the court in its discretion to award a reasonable attorney's fee to a defendant upon a finding that the action is frivolous or that the State attorney general has acted in bad faith, vexatiously, wantonly, or for oppressive reasons.
Provides that in actions under this Act in which there have been determinations that the defendents agreed to fix prices in willful violation of the Sherman Act, damages may be proved and assessed in the aggregate by statistical or sampling methods, by the computation of illegal overcharges, or by such other reasonable system of estimating aggregate damages as the court in its discretion may permit without the necessity of separately proving the individual claim of, or amount of damage to persons on whose behalf the suit was brought
Directs the United States Attorney General to give written notice to States' attorney generals in those instances of Federal actions under the Clayton Act where he has reason to believe that the State attorney general would be entitled to bring an action under the provisions of this Act.
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Bill titles: An Act to improve and facilitate the expeditious and effective enforcement of the antitrust laws, and for other purposes.; A bill to amend the Clayton Act to permit State attorneys general to bring certain antitrust actions, and for other purposes.
Original source documents: Digest of the Congressional Record vol. 122-39, p. H2088;
Links for more info on the vote: congress.gov