Hello again, and thanks for your intriguing question.
I know you were hoping for a source of information that is independent
of the press, and Ive included some possibilities below. But let me
say right up front that its awfully hard to beat the reporters at
their own game.
First of all, theres only one of you, and theres thousands of
business reporters out there.
Secondly supposes someone with inside knowledge -- an assistant DA, a
corporation counsel, the clerk in the copy room -- decides they have
an antitrust story to tell. Who are they more likely to leak it
to...You? An internet chat room? Or a reporter at the Wall Street
Your best bet is to stay right on top of the news as it materializes,
and fortunately, there are some powerful tools for doing this. But
like I said, there are some non-press sources that are also worth your
attention. and Ive included these in my discussion, below.
If anything here is in need of further elaboration -- or if you would
simply like additional information -- just let me know by posting a
Request for Clarification, and Ill be happy to assist you further.
Search strategy: Search on Google, Google News, and Lexis-Nexis for:
antitrust and (subpoena OR grand jury OR investigation OR probe)
First off, just to be clear, grand jury investigations are very often
well-kept secrets. This explanation from the state of Floridas
Attorney Generals office is fairly typical:
Advisory Legal Opinion
Grand jury proceedings are secret and a grand juror is under
direction to not disclose the nature or substance of the
deliberations or vote of the grand jury...in Attorney General Opinion
(1990) this office determined that grand jury subpoenas are an
integral part of the grand jury proceeding to secure witnesses
and, therefore, fall within the "absolute privilege" of the grand
jury. Thus, it was concluded that grand jury subpoenas are not
subject to disclosure...
Bottom line, then, is that the existence of an antitrust investigation
that has reached the grand jury stage will become public knowledge
when the Attorney General is good and ready to make it public
knowledge OR when one of the parties being investigated reveals the
There is actually a place where all the AGs get together and discuss
their antitrust activities, and that is at NAAG (is that a great name
for a group of AGs, or what...?). NAAG, of course, is the National
Association of Attorneys General, and one of their key issue areas is
Of most interest at this site is the work of the Multistate Antitrust
Task Force, which can be found at:
As you can see, there are several lists here -- seemingly quite up to
date -- pertaining to ongoing antitrust investigations.
One of these lists (qualified as Limited to those that are Public)
identifies specific companies under investigation:
NAAG MULTI-STATE ANTITRUST TASK FORCE
INVESTIGATION WORKING GROUPS
(List Limited to those that are Public)
CAREMARK/ADVANCE PCS (OH/PA/FL)
FIRST DATABANK/CONCORD (OH/TX/DC)
Of course, the list alone does not indicate the status of the
investigation (pre-grand jury, grand jury, charges files, etc), but
its a useful site to check for new postings of investigations that
the AGs, in their wisdom, have chosen to make public.
Other working groups listed on the page might also be of interest to
you, as they identify broad areas that are under investigation (e.g.,
vitamins, CDs) and could offer a bit of a heads up as to which
companies might one day find themselves on the receiving end of a
subpoena or two.
Another non-press source of information is the SECs EDGAR database.
All publicly-traded companies in the US file numerous reports to the
SEC that are posted to the EDGAR database. Very often, when a company
receives a subpoena, they will file an 8K report of unexpected
material events. The report is described by the SEC this way:
This is the "current report" that is used to report the occurrence of
any material events or corporate changes which are of importance to
investors or security holders and previously have not been reported by
the registrant. It provides more current information on certain
specified events than would Forms 10-Q or 10-K.
Although 8K forms can be accessed through the SEC site itself, there
are actually more powerful search tools available elsewhere that can
identify the latest filings of companies that have received antitrust
subpoenas, or have otherwise reported the existence of an antitrust
investigation. My favorite search site is the 10K Wizard at
Although this is a subscription service, you can use its SEC search
function free of charge. Youll find the Search page at:
I searched on:
(antitrust OR "price fixing" OR "monopoly) NEAR(25) ("grand jury" OR
which looks for the terms antitrust, price fixing or monopoly
within 25 words of either grand jury or subpoena. Of course, you
can delete, add, or change the terms or the NEAR distance as you see
I also set the search as follows:
--In the box marked Form Group I selected 8K related from the
--For the dates, I specified from October 3, 2002 to October 3, 2003,
since you had requested a one-year time frame -- of course, a broader
or more narrow set of dates can be chosen at your discretion.
The search returned results for five companies:
The Company has received a grand jury subpoena from the Antitrust
Division of the Department of Justice...
TIER TECHNOLOGIES INC
...by the United States Department of Justice, Antitrust Division. We
intend to cooperate fully with the subpoena and the investigation...
EXPRESS SCRIPTS INC
...the Attorney General of the State of New York. The subpoena seeks
information regarding the Company's compliance with certain state and
federal antitrust and consumer protection statutes...
DUKE ENERGY CORP
The U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco served a grand jury
subpoena on Duke Energy in November 2002...
MICRON TECHNOLOGY INC
On June 17, 2002, we received a grand jury subpoena from the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District...
As you can see, there are no spurious hits here. The search string
does a good job of finding 8K reports from companies that are
reporting a subpoena for an antitrust investigation. However, the
search results from the 10K Wizard only return a snippet of
information from the actual filing. To get the full details, you
would have to access the full 8K report in one of two ways:
--At the sec.gov site, where you can see it free of charge, or
--at the 10K Wizard site, by taking out a subscription.
You may want to consider making use of the 10K Wizard subscription
service, especially given your desire to be among the first to know
about a given investigation. The site offers a My Alerts service,
that will send you an email notification anytime a new report gets
files that meets your search criteria. This can be a valuable way of
getting a heads-up on breaking news of new investigations.
If you prefer the no-charge option, then head over to the SECs search
and enter the name of the company you are interested in into the
search box. For instance, a search on Titan Corp returns a long list
of this companies filings, including, of course, their July 9, 2003 8K
form, which can be seen here:
and which tells us:
The Company has received a grand jury subpoena from the Antitrust
Division of the Department of Justice requesting the production of
documents relating to information technology services performed for
the Air Force at Hanscom Air Force Base in Massachusetts. The Company
has been informed that other companies who have performed such
services have received subpoenas as well. We have been cooperating
and will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation.
Clearly, though, there are more than five such investigations taking
place in the past year. Where else to turn to for information?
For recent news, your best bet is none other than Google News at:
where they offer pretty comprehensive coverage of news items for the
past few weeks.
For instance, a search on [ antitrust (subpoena OR price fixing OR
monopoly OR investigation) ] turns up 600+ results. By clicking on
the Sort by date link (upper right hand corner of the page), the
list is sorted by the most recent news first, and includes the
following interesting-looking items:
Oracle may face antitrust suit
San Francisco Chronicle, CA - 3 hours ago
PetroKazakhstan must repay US$6.3M
National Post, Canada - 4 hours ago
Illinois governor seeks probe into company efforts to block ...
Canada.com, Canada - 14 hours ago
EU Commission questions Premier League deal with BSkyB over TV
CNN/SI - Oct 1, 2003
Yukon Fuel sale eyed due to antitrust rumors
Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, AK - Sep 30, 2003
...and so on.
The brief excerpts the Google News provides dont always fully
describe the story, but complete details are just a click away. For
instance, if you want to just what the Governor of Illinois is
probing, a click on the link:
takes you to the full story, which begins:
Illinois governor seeks probe into company efforts to block Canadian
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Rod Blagojevich is calling for a state
investigation into whether drugmakers are illegally blocking access to
cheaper prescription drugs from Canada.
The governor asked Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office to look into
whether the companies have committed antitrust violations by limiting
supplies to Canadian pharmacies and wholesalers.
Google News also offers a very excellent alert service, similar to
that offered by the 10K Wizard....except there is no charge for the
Google service. Just go to the News Alerts site at:
and enter the search string you want Google News to keep tabs on. In
the How Often box, select As it happens from the pull down menu,
and then supply your email address.
Thats it. Every time a new news item appears that matches your
search criteria, youll get a quick email alerting you to the story.
THIS MAY WELL BE YOUR BEST AND SIMPLEST OPTION for keeping up to date
with breaking stories. I strongly recommend you take advantage of
Another news service to be aware of is, interestingly, at a site
where they list the latest news stories dealing with all aspects of
antitrust. Seems worth checking, though I didnt find anything here
not already revealed at other sources.
Note, too, that they have a Discussion forum, where people involved
in antitrust issues can trade information and ideas. Again, nothing
turned up relevant to your specific query, but it seems worthwhile
being aware of this as a potential source of information.
Lastly, there is the gold standard of news search services,
Lexis-Nexis. Although many people shy away from this service due to
the perceived costs involved, you can actually do a lot of searching
at no cost. If particular results are of interest, they can then be
purchased for a relatively modest fee. Its very much worth becoming
familiar with their (somewhat cumbersome) sign-up procedures and
For instance, I conducted a Nexis search on:
grand jury and (antitrust w/10 subpoena) and not microsoft
to find stories from the past year that contain the phrase grand
jury and include antitrust within ten words of subpoena and that
do not include any reference to microsoft.
The search -- which can be conducted at no charge -- returned a list
of 65 articles with brief cites for each, including:
Los Angeles Times, September 12, 2003 Friday, Home Edition, Page 2,
187 words, California; NEC Units Subpoenaed in U.S. Antitrust Probe
AFX European Focus, August 19, 2003 Tuesday, GOVERNMENT, 168 words,
UPM-Kymmene recieves subpoena related to US labelstock market
The Dallas Morning News, June 25, 2003, Wednesday, SECOND EDITION,
BUSINESS;, Pg. 2D, 338 words, U.S. opens second ACS inquiry; Shares of
Dallas-based computer services firm lose almost 3 percent
American Metal Market, May 15, 2003, Pg. 1 ; ISSN: 0002-9998, 517
words, Antitrust probe targeting copper concentrate mart; alleged
price-fixing, trans-Atlantic investigation
Chemical Week, March 26, 2003, BUSINESS & FINANCE NEWS; United
States/Americas; Pg. 8, 349 words, Ferro, Baerlocher Targeted in Heat
Stabilizers Price-Fixing Probe
Due to copyright constraints, I cannot fully reproduce all the search
results here, but I trust you get the idea. There is a goodly amount
of interesting and pertinent material here available at no cost. And
if you want to access the full article for any particular result, you
can do so at a charge of $3.00 per article.
I recommend opening a Lexis-Nexis account of some sort in order to
take full advantage of their service. The sign up process begins here:
At the bottom right hand side of the page, you will see an option for:
Not a Subscriber
Search Now Using Your
Clicking this will lead you to a Pay As You Go or Pay By Day Or
Week sign up options. Choose the one that works best for you
(unless, of course, you prefer to sign up for one of their longer-term
options) and begin by entering the requested information. Again,
there is no charge for conducting a search or for reviewing the search
results...you are only charged for retrieving the full text of any
If you need any assistance conducting a search of the Nexis news
sources (and it can be a confusing process) just let me know, and Ill
be glad to walk you through the process.
I hope this information fully meets your needs. However, as I said
earlier, if anything is unclear, or you would like additional
information, just let me know. Im at your service.
Good luck in your efforts.