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June 22, 2021


Legislation Would Provide States with the Same Antitrust Venue Rights as Federal Enforcers

Chicago  — Attorney General Kwame Raoul today joined a bipartisan coalition of 52 attorneys general in urging Congress to pass the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act of 2021. The legislation would provide states with the same venue selection rights as federal enforcers by prohibiting the transfer of state antitrust actions into a multidistrict litigation.

“The State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act would help preserve state control over antitrust enforcement actions, which allows state attorneys general to better protect consumers and enforce laws that ensure competition,” Raoul said. “I urge Congress to pass this legislation to allow attorneys general to continue to effectively and efficiently prosecute antitrust litigation on behalf of their residents.”

Raoul and other attorneys general are empowered to pursue antitrust enforcement actions on behalf of consumers in their states and territories. Under current law, these law enforcement actions that are brought in federal court may be subject to transfer to a multidistrict litigation at the request of the defendant. In many actions, cases are then postponed and may be joined with other lawsuits brought by private plaintiffs.

However, enforcement actions filed by the federal government cannot be transferred to a multidistrict litigation. By providing states with the same venue selection rights as the federal government, states would be entitled to select and remain in their preferred venue without the inefficiencies that typically occur with multidistrict litigation.

In today’s letter, Raoul and the coalition state that Congress has previously recognized that states play an essential role in enforcing competition laws in the United States. The attorneys general argue that states should accordingly be on equal footing with federal enforcers in deciding where, when, and how to prosecute cases so prosecution can be more efficient and effective.

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