State Center

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New York Office

360 Furman Street, #1026
Brooklyn, NY 11201
phone: (631) 324 - 0436

sdhouck1@aol.com

Latest News
Airline Consolidation

Continuing consolidation among domestic airlines has led to increased concentration at regional airports. A State Center grant in 2012 permitted the retention of an economist to assist a state antitrust bureau in its review of the potential impacts of a merger on consumers using one of the state's principal airports.

Conspiracy Screens

Statistical methods have been developed for the review of bidding and purchase data to identify situations in which collusion may have occurred. The State Center made a grant in 2011 to enable two state attorneys general to experiment with this methodology to identify possible instances of collusion in connection with purchases made by their client agencies.

Expert Grants

The State Center made multiple grants in 2011 to assist separate multistate groups in connection with a pending litigation and an investigation and to underwrite an expert's participation in a NAAG Antitrust Training Seminar. The grants were made to assist with the retention of an expert economist in the litigation, to permit training of AAGs by subject matter experts in a matter under investigation, and to provide expert input on antitrust aspects of the financial crisis.

Antitrust/Consumer Protection Fellows

The State Center underwrote the participation of AAGs in a novel NAAG fellowship program. The Fellows are AAGs seconded to NAAG who research and report on issues of current importance to the consumer protection and antitrust enforcement efforts of state attorneys general.

Negotiations Training Workshop

The State Center sponsored a day-long negotiations training workshop for state antitrust attorneys at the NAAG Antitrust Seminar held in Columbus, Ohio in September, 2010. The workshop was led by Professor Charles B. Craver, a leading national authority on negotiation techniques and strategies.

Southwest Consumer Protection Conference

The State Center's fifth regional Consumer Protection conference took place on May 4 and 5, 2010, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. There were more than 40 attendees from the Consumer Protection Divisions of New Mexico, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah and of the Southwest Regional Office of the Federal Trade Commission. New Mexico Attorney General Gary King opened the conference. Session topics included complaint handling, prioritization in tough economic times, investigative strategies and tools, current enforcement issues and collaboration with other agencies.

Educational and Litigation Grants

In the first half of 2010, the State Center continued its policy of providing funds to support AAG training and enforcement activities in both the antitrust and consumer protection areas. Among the grants awarded were one to provide professional negotiation training at the NAAG Multistate Antitrust Task Force’s Annual Seminar in the fall and one to permit the continuation of the successful NAGTRI/State Center Consumer Protection Fellowship Program. Grants were also made to permit states to hire experts to assist in analyzing issues that had arisen in the course of pending investigations.

Document Management Software Grants

Document management software is critical to the effective, efficient analysis and organization of email and other documents in large cases. The State Center has made grants in 2008 and 2009 to two separate multistate working groups to enable them to utilize and evaluate cutting edge document management software. One grant was made in connection with an antitrust litigation and the other with respect to a merger investigation.

Undercover Phone Lines

The State Center made grants to two states to enable them to set up undercover phone lines to aid in the detection of telemarketing fraud and fraudulent charitable solicitations. It is hoped that these phone lines will ultimately be self-supporting from costs recovered in connection with their use and will serve as templates for similar initiatives by additional states.

Educational and Litigation Grants

Two grants awarded in early 2009 are examples of the types of projects supported by the State Center. One grant was made to NAAG to enable state assistant attorneys general to attend a conference on antitrust enforcement in the pharmaceutical industry co-sponsored by the University of San Francisco Law School and the American Antitrust Institute. Another grant was made to enable a state attorney general’s office to retain the services of a nationally recognized expert witness in a litigation brought against a large company charged with improper use of telemarketing, direct mail and the Internet to defraud consumers in the state.

Northwest Consumer Protection Conference

On July 30, 2009, in Seattle, Washington the State Center sponsored the fourth in its series of regional Consumer Protection conferences. There were more than 30 attendees from the Consumer Protection Divisions of Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho and California and the Northwest Regional Office of the Federal Trade Commission. Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna led a roundtable discussion on how to meet expectations and effectively prioritize consumer protection work in difficult economic times. Other topics included federal laws that authorize state consumer protection enforcement, debt collection and foreclosure case studies, regional collaboration among state attorneys general offices and the FTC, ROBO CALL/ADAD enforcement, charity enforcement and complaint handling. The Mintz Group provided a training session on investigative techniques using various data bases available on the Internet. Tam Ormiston of the Columbia Law School National State Attorneys General Program participated both in planning the conference and as a discussion leader.

The mission of the State Center is to enhance consumer welfare by supporting the fair, effective and vigorous enforcement of antitrust and consumer protection laws at the state level.
New York Office

10 East 40th Street
25th Floor
New York, NY 10016
phone: (212) 545 - 1894

info@statecenterinc.org


The Center for State Enforcement of Antitrust and Consumer Protection Laws, Inc. ©2017
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