During Barnett’s reign, the division secured $1.8 billion in criminal fines against 50 corporations and 91 individuals. Attorney General Michael Mukasey said that under Barnett’s leadership “the Antitrust Division has increased cartel enforcement to record levels with unprecedented fines and prison sentences, improved the efficiency and efficacy of its merger enforcement, and enhanced cooperation with our foreign counterparts."
"Tom Barnett has been an effective enforcer of the antitrust laws and a strong advocate for consumers,” Mukasey said in a statement.
Barnett (Yale, Harvard Law), who left a partnership at Covington & Burling to join the department, led the division for more than three years, in both acting and Senate-confirmed capacities. His resignation is effective Nov. 19, the department said.
As chief, Barnett oversaw 34 merger cases filed in district court and 14 transactions in which parties either restructured deals or made divestitures at the Justice Department’s bidding, according to the department. The division filed 16 cases to enforce antitrust strictures or protect market competition, and initiated 14 investigations that resulted in companies either abandoning their plans or amending their practices.
Word of Barnett’s resignation comes just days after Google Inc. backed out of an ad-sharing deal with Yahoo! Inc., fearing a protracted legal battle. The Justice Department had indicated that it would file a lawsuit to block the deal.