The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division and the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) have signed the first interagency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to foster cooperation and communication between the agencies to enhance competition in the maritime industry. Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers and FMC Chairman Daniel Maffei signed the MOU between the Antitrust Division and the FMC effective this afternoon following Friday’s announcement of the Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy.
“Collaboration between the Antitrust Division and the FMC is important to ensuring healthy competition in the maritime industry,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Powers. “Our partnership with the FMC is one of the many ways in which the Antitrust Division is prepared to play its role in achieving the competition objectives of the President’s Competition Executive Order.”
“The Federal Maritime Commission has an important enforcement role as an economic regulator of a vital industry,” said Chairman Maffei. “As such, we will continually assess how the agency can improve its capacity to protect the integrity of the marketplace. This memorandum between the Commission and the Department of Justice supplements and strengthens the FMC’s ability to detect, address, and pursue violations of the law or anticompetitive behavior by those we regulate.”
Key provisions of the MOU facilitate communication and cooperation between the agencies. In particular, the MOU establishes a framework for the Antitrust Division and the FMC to continue regular discussions and review law enforcement and regulatory matters affecting competition in the maritime industry. The MOU includes provisions to establish periodic meetings among the respective agencies’ officials. The MOU also provides for the exchange of information and expertise that may be relevant and useful to the agencies’ oversight and enforcement responsibilities, as appropriate and consistent with applicable legal and confidentiality restrictions.