On June 25, 2020, Congress approved the renewal and permanent extension of the Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Act (ACPERA or “the Act”), which limits the civil damages exposure of companies that cooperate with the Department of Justice (DOJ) in self-reporting their own anticompetitive conduct. In a press release issued the day after the legislation passed, Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, praised both Houses of Congress “for their bipartisan action and recognition of ACPERA’s importance in the fight to safeguard our free markets and protect American consumers from collusion.” DOJ Office of Public Affairs, Department of Justice Applauds Congressional Passage of Reauthorization of the Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Act (June 26, 2020). While his tone was celebratory, ACPERA is not universally popular. On the contrary, its design and implementation have long engendered controversy. This article contextualizes ACPERA as a tool in the DOJ’s arsenal before examining its efficacy and potential reforms.
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