Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michael Murray described the DOJ's "muscular role" in the enforcement of antitrust regulation in the financial markets.
In his remarks at the University of Michigan Law School, Mr. Murray reviewed the benefits, but also the opportunity for anti-competitive conduct and harm from the "massive transformation" currently taking place in the financial services industry. He described the extensive efforts of Chair Jay Clayton and the central role of the SEC on behalf of consumers, and the general view by the courts and regulators that the DOJ should defer to the SEC on the oversight of the financial markets. He then described the response of the Antitrust Division to the sector's technological transformation and the efforts of the Division to "lean in" (i) by aggressively policing the markets for complex antitrust crimes, (ii) by updating its practices to adapt to new financial sector realities and (iii) "to cement a lasting and productive partnership with the SEC."
Notably, Mr. Murray stated that the DOJ is looking at ways to modernize the 1995 Banking Guidelines with respect to bank mergers to reflect market realities and "to put on paper-similar to the Vertical Merger Guidelines-how staff analyzes these bank mergers in practice." (See generally the DOJ's request for public comment on these guidelines.)
- DOJ Speech, Michael Murray: The Muscular Role for Antitrust in Fintech, Financial Markets, and Banking: The Antitrust Division's Decision to Lean In
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