On June 22nd, the SEC and the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division signed an interagency Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). The MOU is intended to foster cooperation and communication between the agencies with the aim of enhancing competition in the securities industry. Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim of the Antitrust Division announced this first-ever MOU between the Antitrust Division and the SEC, which was executed with SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, before a discussion on equity market structure hosted by MIT’s Golub Center for Finance and Policy.
The MOU cements the strong working relationship between the SEC and the DOJ’s Antitrust Division. There are many policy areas where the missions of the SEC and DOJ’s Antritrust Division align, but their respective areas of expertise differ. Formalizing the sharing of knowledge between the agencies will lead to even greater collaboration and cooperation to ensure that the efficient markets that American investors rely on are maintained. American consumers will also benefit from the emphasis on competition and securities laws, which should also ensure a stronger, healthier market.
Key provisions of the MOU are aimed at facilitating both communication and cooperation between the agencies. In particular, the MOU establishes a framework for the SEC and the DOJ’s Antitrust Division to continue regular discussions and review law enforcement and regulatory matters that impact competition in the securities industry, including provisions to establish periodic meetings among the respective agencies’ officials. The MOU also encourages exchange of information and expertise the agencies believe to be potentially relevant and useful to oversight and enforcement responsibilities, as appropriate and consistent with applicable legal and confidentiality restrictions.