Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. Department of Justice on Thursday updated its merger remedies guidelines for the first time in nearly a decade.

Why it matters: This is the new framework for how DOJ plans to solve for antitrust concerns, including for mega-mergers that reshape industries.

The big winner is private equity, which for the first time received explicit and positive mention as a viable "divestiture buyer" of assets that merging companies may be required to sell.

  • DOJ writes that "in some cases a private equity purchaser may be preferred," due to its financial resources, strategic flexibility, and access to industry expertise.

Divestiture is a major theme in the new manual.

  • DOJ writes that "structural remedies are strongly preferred" to conduct remedies.
  • In other words, it would rather the merging companies divest their way out of antitrust concerns than promise to be on their best behavior (i.e., conduct remedy).

Looking ahead: DOJ last week said it's considering a review of its bank merger rules.

  • In quasi-related news, The NY Times reports that DOJ plans to file antitrust charges against Google by month's end, with AG Barr overruling "career lawyers who said they needed more time to build a strong case."

The bottom line: The new guidelines are in keeping with what we've seen in practice from Trump's DOJ, but now it's been codified.

Go deeper

Top aide to John Durham’s Trump-Russia investigation resigns

Connecticut prosecutor Nora Dannehy entering a taxi in Washington, D.C., in 2009. Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Nora Dannehy, a senior prosecutor who worked with Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham on his investigation into U.S. intelligence agencies that examined allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election, abruptly resigned from the Justice Department on Friday, the Hartford Courant first reported, citing unidentified colleagues.

Why it matters: Dannehy's departure may complicate the final stretch of the investigation amid mounting pressure from President Trump and his allies for published results before the November elections.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. EST: 32,135,220 — Total deaths: 981,660 — Total recoveries: 22,149,441Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m EST: 6,975,980 — Total deaths: 202,738 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,481,026Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats prepare new $2.4 trillion coronavirus relief package.
  4. Health: Cases are surging again in 22 states — New York will conduct its own review of coronavirus vaccine.
  5. Business: America is closing out its strongest quarter of economic growth.
  6. Technology: 2020 tech solutions may be sapping our resolve to beat the pandemic.
  7. Sports: Pac-12 will play this fall despite ongoing pandemic — Here's what college basketball will look like this season.
  8. Science: Global coronavirus vaccine initiative launches without U.S. or China — During COVID-19 shutdown, a common sparrow changed its song.
5 hours ago - Sports

Pac-12 will play football this fall, reversing course

A view of Levi's Stadium during the 2019 Pac-12 Championship football game. Photo: Alika Jenner/Getty Images

The Pac-12, which includes universities in Arizona, California, Colorado, Oregon, Utah and Washington state, will play football starting Nov. 6, reversing its earlier decision to postpone the season because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The conference's about-face follows a similar move by the Big Ten last week and comes as President Trump has publicly pressured sports to resume despite the ongoing pandemic. The Pac-12 will play a seven-game conference football season, according to ESPN.

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