In this edition of CPI Talks we have the pleasure of speaking with Mr. Doug Peterson, the 33rd and current Attorney General of the State of Nebraska.
Thank you, Mr. Peterson, for taking this time to talk to CPI.
1. Antitrust enforcement involves, by necessity, coordination between federal and State agencies. What, in your view, should be the approach to interagency cooperation in a contemporary context? How can States and Federal agencies better coordinate in the 21st Century?
Coordination between federal and state agencies is critical to ensure that we efficiently deploy our limited resources. Traditionally, there was an approach, particularly in smaller states, in which states followed the lead of our federal counterparts. There was very little appetite to independently investigate and litigate large antitrust cases — with a few notable exceptions, like Microsoft. That trend has been changing with recent actions against some large technology companies.
There is no single, ideal model of interagency cooperation. State enforcers, much like our federal counterparts, have a limited set of resources to tackle competition issues. As a result, our model for cooperation will depend upon how specific investigations or cases relate to state priorities.
Interagency cooperation can be broadly captured in two categories. There is the historical model of cooperation in which state enforcers join investigations and cases managed by federal enforcers. In this model, state enfor...