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Tag: Christine Varney

Justice Department Eyeing College Football Bowl Games

istock photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON—  College football could be in for a rude awakening.

The Associated Press reports that  Justice Department has sent a letter to the N.C.A.A. raising questions about the selection process for Bowl Championship Series (BSC) football games, and whether it  complies with anti-trust laws.

AP reported that critics have pushed for a Justice Investigation into the selection process ” saying that it unfairly gives some schools preferential access to the national championship game and top-tier bowls.” The N.C.A.A. said it will respond after getting the letter.

AP reported that a letter authored by Christine Varney, chief of the Justice Department’s Anti-Trust Division,  asked N.C.A.A. President Mark Emmert why college football doesn’t have a playoff system to determine its national champion like other  NCAA sports do.

The letter also asks what steps the NCAA has taken to create one.

“Your views would be relevant in helping us to determine the best course of action with regard to the BCS,” she wrote.

AP added that Varney wrote that that the Utah attorney general plans to file an antitrust lawsuit against the BCS, and 21 professors recently sent the department a letter asking for an antitrust investigation.

Cargo Shipping Firms Agree to Pay $50.2 Million Criminal Fines in Price Fixing Scheme

justice dept. logoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Six international freight companies agreed this week to pay criminal fines totaling $50.2 million for their role in a price fixing scheme involving international cargo, the Justice Department said.

“The department’s investigation uncovered six different conspiracies harming businesses and consumers in the United States and across the globe,” Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, said in a statement. “Our investigation continues in this important industry.”

Authorities said the six companies, known as “freight forwarders”, manage the domestic and international delivery of cargo for customers by receiving, packaging, preparing and warehousing cargo freight, arranging for cargo shipment through transportation providers such as air carriers and steamship lines, preparing shipment documentation, and providing related ancillary services.”

Authorities alleged that the companies met and agreed to “coordinate various charges and fees on customers purchasing international freight forwarding services for cargo freight destined for air shipment to the United States.” The agreements came between 2002 and 2007.

The companies are: EGL Inc., a Houston-based company; Kühne + Nagel International AG, based in Schindellegi, Switzerland (K+N); Geologistics International Management (Bermuda) Limited, based in Hamilton, Bermuda; Panalpina World Transport (Holding) Ltd., based in Basel, Switzerland; Schenker AG, based in Essen, Germany; and BAX Global Inc., a Toledo, Ohio-based company.

Senate Confirms Justice Dept. Nominees Lanny Breuer, Tony West & Christine Varney

Lanny Breuer

Lanny Breuer

As expected, the Senate gave the nod to the latest Justice Department appointees. 

By Mary Jacoby
Main Justice
WASHINGTON — After minimal debate, the Senate this evening quickly confirmed Lanny Breuer as Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division; Tony West as Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division, and Christine Varney as Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division.

Their confirmation votes had been delayed by controversy over veteran diplomat Christopher Hill’s nomination to be ambassador to Iraq, prompting Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to complain that Republicans had delayed getting key Obama nominees in place at the Justice Department. The nominees were uncontroversial and should have been confirmed by voice vote, Leahy added.

Noting the unanimous support for Breuer, a Covington & Burling partner and former Clinton White House lawyer, Leahy said: “The right thing has been done. Not a single dissenting vote.” That prompted Sen. Arlen Specter, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary panel, to chime in about Varney: “Let’s confirm her.”

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Obama Names Lanny Breuer to Head Justice Criminal Division

Lanny Breuer/law firm photo

Lanny Breuer/law firm photo

By Allan Lengel
Ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – Lanny Breuer, who represented N.Y. Yankee pitcher Roger Clemens in a Congressional probe last year, has been named the chief of the Justice Department’s criminal division by President Obama, FederalTimes.com reported.
Breuer, a partner at Covington & Burling in Washington is from the same firm as Atty. Gen. nominee Eric H. Holder Jr.
According to the firm website, Breuer, former special counsel to President Clinton from 1997 to 1999, who is “co-chair of Covington’s White Collar Defense and Investigations practice group, specializes in white collar criminal and complex civil litigation, internal corporate investigations, congressional investigations, antitrust cartel proceedings, and other matters involving high-profile legal, political, and public relations risks.”
Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald’s name was bandied about in the halls of the Justice Department as a possible candidate for the post, but nothing obviously materialized. Fitzgerald, who is regarded as a star among prosecutors around the country, could remain in Chicago. Some speculated that the native New Yorker could also get the coveted U.S. Atty. job in New York.
The FederalTimes.com also reported other presidential appointments to Justice: David Kris as Assistant A.G. for national security; Tony West as Assistant A.G. for the civil division, which experienced many problems under the Bush regime; and Christine Varney as Assistant A.G. for the antitrust division.