Washington, D.C. — The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) is 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.
Attorneys general pursue antitrust enforcement actions on behalf of consumers in their states and territories. Under current law, these law enforcement actions may be subject to transfer to a multidistrict litigation at the request of the defendants. 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.
“As Congress has recognized, the states play an essential role in the enforcement of competition laws in the United States. States should accordingly be on equal footing with federal enforcers in deciding where, when, and how to prosecute cases,” concludes the letter signed by 52 state and territory attorneys general.
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