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Attorney General Reyes Statement on Google Multistate Investigation and U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Filing

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 20, 2020

JOINT ATTORNEYS GENERAL STATEMENT ON THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANTITRUST FILING AND THE MULTISTATE INVESTIGATION INTO GOOGLE
 

SALT LAKE CITY — Today, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google. Utah has not joined the Department of Justice lawsuit and is instead studying a separate action with the multistate coalition. 

Attorneys General from the states of Utah, Iowa, Colorado, Arizona, Tennessee, New York, North Carolina, and Nebraska released the following statement regarding today’s antitrust filing by the U.S. Department of Justice and the multistate investigation into Google: 

“Over the last year, both the DOJ and state attorneys general have conducted separate but parallel investigations into Google’s anticompetitive market behavior. We appreciate the strong bipartisan cooperation among the states and the good working relationship with the DOJ on these serious issues. This is a historic time for both federal and state antitrust authorities, as we work to protect competition and innovation in our technology markets. We plan to conclude parts of our investigation of Google in the coming weeks. If we decide to file a complaint, we would file a motion to consolidate our case with the DOJ’s. We would then litigate the consolidated case cooperatively, much as we did in the Microsoft case.”

Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes added the following statement: 
 
“We applaud AG Barr and his team of dedicated DOJ lawyers and legal professionals for their work. We support them and understand why they filed sooner than our multistate case. DOJ began its investigations significantly prior to our multistate efforts so it has always been ahead in terms of timing. Further, our multistate case may address additional issues beyond the scope of the DOJ complaint.”
 
“We have been working closely with DOJ in our investigation, and we appreciate the cooperation and assistance it has given us,” Attorney General Reyes said.  “We anticipate making a decision regarding our own multistate case in the very near future and look forward to continuing to collaborate closely with the DOJ on this and many other matters.”
 

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Read the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit here.

Attorney General Reyes Urges Investigation into Beef Packing Industry

June 2, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes is notifying the Department of Justice that a growing number of states intend to pursue a federal investigation into suspected national price-fixing by meatpackers in the cattle industry, and urge the Department to coordinate with the states on that investigation.

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, AG Reyes expressed concern over the likelihood of manipulation of the market for processed beef. The four largest meatpacking companies control more than 80% of the beef processing in the United States. The shelf price of beef is exceptionally high, while cattle prices are low and continue to dive. The concern over market manipulation has increased with beef prices reaching record levels as consumers stockpile meat in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but cattle prices remain low and are decreasing.

“Especially now, we need to encourage fair competition in the meat packing industry and protect consumers,” said Attorney General Reyes.  “We intend to ask the DOJ to conduct a vigorous investigation into the meatpacking industry with an eye on what kinds of competitive practices occur.”

Attorney General Reyes says the pricing margins are a sign that meat packers are using their ability to control the market for processed beef and take advantage of the situation in a manner that could violate the federal antitrust law. In addition to harming cattle producers, this potentially illegal practice hurts consumers nationwide, many of whom are themselves struggling because of loss of employment and reduced incomes.

Attorney General Reyes and a growing number of Attorneys General from Midwestern states believe the situation warrants a full federal investigation because the alleged anticompetitive conduct harms consumers and cattle ranchers across the United States.

Read the letter here.

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