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Sen. Warren Urges DOJ To Take On Price-Fixing

 |  February 8, 2022

US Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat who has argued for the breakup of tech giants like Amazon, Google and Facebook, has urged the Justice Department to be more aggressive in fighting price-fixing, reported Reuters.

“The nation is dealing with inflation at its highest level in decades, much of it driven by corporate greed and anticompetitive behavior, and the federal government must use every tool available to prevent price gouging and reduce prices for Americans,” Warren wrote in a letter dated Monday and sent to Attorney General Merrick Garland and his deputy, Lisa Monaco.

Warren criticized, in particular, price-fixing deferred prosecution agreements that the department reached with Argos USA, a cement producer, and three generic drugs companies, Taro Pharmaceuticals, Novartis unit Sandoz, and Apotex.

Warren said the Argos deal was “unusual particularly because the concrete industry has been rife with criminal antitrust issues for decades.” Regarding the deals with pharmaceutical companies, she said that “none of the criminal executives will see any time in prison in spite of confessed illegal practices scamming the government and patients in need of drugs.”

Warren asked Garland and Monaco for any data that the department kept regarding price-fixing enforcement efforts, including prison sentences that executives might be serving, penalties and restitution; information on how the Justice Department decides to enter into deferred prosecution agreements and whether the government has observed multiple instances of price-fixing in any industry and focused resources there.

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