CPI Talks… With New York Attorney General Letitia James

In this edition of CPI Talks we have the pleasure of speaking with Ms. Letitia James, Attorney General of the State of New York.

Thank you, Ms. James, 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?

We have always worked collaboratively with our federal counterparts and continue to do so today. We often work, together, on many important cases, and frequently reach the same conclusions, as we did in our Facebook and Google investigations. But each state and each federal agency has independent enforcement authority and responsibilities. When we reach different conclusions on an antitrust matter, we may decide to exercise our independent authority by filing a lawsuit, coming to an agreement with a party, or taking another action.

One recent example is the T-Mobile/Sprint merger — a merger of two of the four mobile network operators in the United States. New York led a coalition of states investigating the merger, while the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) conducted its own investigation. Both the States and the DOJ determined that the merger, as originally proposed, would be anticompetitive and illegal. While a small number of fixes satisfied the DOJ, we were not persuaded, and sued to block the merger. S

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