FCN: There’s a new sheriff in town…

August 11, 2009

While we’re still making our way through the massive amount of Qs that have been filed over the past few days, we thought that this transcript attached to an 8-K filed late yesterday by footnoted frequent flyer FTI Consulting (FCN) was too amusing to pass up. Here’s a snip from CEO Jack Dunn:

On the regulatory side, we are already seeing Federal agencies getting increased funding to pursue their mandates and these agencies are beginning to articulate their positions and to take action.

As an example, the Justice Department under Christine Varney has made it crystal clear that under the new administration attempts to take a much more intervention as policy towards anti-trust enforcement.

The Justice Department prominently withdrew the prior Section 2 report issued by the Department in September 2008 under the former administration, which more rigidly defines how abused competition within an industry. This is a dramatic reversal in policy and signifies that the current administration will not be favorably inclined towards defendants at anti-trust cases.

The Bush Administration did not file a single case against a dominant firm for violating the anti-monopoly law. By contrast in only a few short months, the current Department of Justice has already filed actions in the pharmaceutical, telecommunications and technology industries. This is real intangible evidence that a new sheriff is in town.

In the similar vein, we also expect the DoJ to take a more active role in the scrutiny of M&A transactions. Again during the Bush Administration, DoJ’s review of M&A activity was about half of what it was during the eight years to the prior four years. Even if the Obama Administration only reverts back to the average level of anti-trust review, this will present a significant increase in potential new work for FTI.

Here’s DOJ’s statement on Section 2 back in May for those who missed it back then (we’re embarrassed to include ourselves in this group).

Of course, what makes some of the comments particularly amusing is that it happened only a few days after Huron Consulting (HURN) imploded.

Just a reminder that we’ve been posting the most timely stuff over on our portal on Research Edge. To get access to those posts, footnoted readers can send an email here.

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