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Byron Tuyay

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Byron Tuyay is a senior associate in Baker McKenzie's North America Antitrust & Competition Practice Group in Los Angeles. He has represented individuals and corporations on matters involving a broad range of antitrust law issues arising from investigations conducted by the US Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, and international competition authorities.
Byron was an Assistant United States Attorney at the US Attorney's Office for the Central District of California where he prosecuted a wide variety of federal crimes including white collar crimes and COVID-19 related fraud schemes, coordinated multi-agency investigations, and conducted federal criminal jury trials. As a federal prosecutor, Byron also briefed and argued appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
Before Joining the US Attorney's Office, Byron was an attorney at a global law firm where he practiced antitrust and competition law.

On April 10, 2024, the Department of Justice Antitrust Division announced that it had secured a guilty plea from a fuel truck company owner for conspiracy to monopolize trade in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. This policy shift has expanded the scope of the DOJ’s criminal antitrust enforcement agenda. Accordingly, companies should ensure that their employees are properly complying with antitrust regulations and continue to monitor as this revived area of antitrust law develops.

On 7 March 2024 at the American Bar Association’s 39th National Institute on White Collar Crime, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco announced several new initiatives the Department of Justice is implementing to address concerns around the use of AI in federal criminal activity along with potential corporate compliance failures that might facilitate the misuse of AI.

On 6 March 2024, California Assistant Attorney General Paula Blizzard announced at the American Bar Association’s annual National Institute on White Collar Crime the state’s intentions to reinvigorate criminal enforcement of the Cartwright Act, California’s primary antitrust statute. California has not criminally prosecuted violations of the Cartwright Act in 25 years. Blizzard’s announcement comes shortly after California enacted legislation to codify restrictions against no-poach and non-compete clauses. All-in-all, state officials appear poised to follow in the Biden administration’s footsteps and increase antitrust enforcement. Companies should be on notice of certain states like California that are taking steps to strengthen antitrust enforcement and alleged agreements to fix prices, divide markets, and rig bids could soon lead to criminal penalties under either state or federal statutes.

On 1 December 2023, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed a Sherman Act conviction of a former executive of an aluminum products manufacturer for failure to state a per se antitrust offense. In February 2022, the former executive was found guilty of six counts: conspiracy to rig bids, conspiracy to commit mail or wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud, and one count of wire fraud. The court affirmed the mail and wire fraud convictions, but reversed the Sherman Act conviction of conspiracy to rig bids. The Fourth Circuit held that the trial court erred in applying the per se rule without considering the fact that the alleged scheme took place within the context of a “dual distribution” relationship among competing bidders, who also maintained a supplier relationship.

On 1 December 2023, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reversed a Sherman Act conviction of a former executive of an aluminum products manufacturer for failure to state a per se antitrust offense. While DOJ is considering en banc review of this opinion, if upheld the decision could have lasting implications for how the DOJ proceeds with indictments involving parties that engage in dual distribution. We will continue to monitor for future developments in this case as it moves forward.

On 4 October 2023, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco of the U.S. Department of Justice announced a new DOJ-wide policy that seeks to provide greater certainty as to the potential benefits to acquirers that uncover criminal conduct at a target company. The DOJ’s Mergers & Acquisitions Safe Harbor Policy for voluntary self-disclosures provides greater certainty to acquirers who self-report within the safe harbor period, fully cooperate with the DOJ in its investigation, and engage in requisite, timely, and appropriate remediation, pay restitution, and disgorge any ill-gotten gains.

A federal judge granted six individual defendants’ joint motion for judgment of acquittal in a criminal antitrust trial involving allegations that the defendants conspired to allocate the labor market for aerospace industry employees. The ruling was issued mid-trial before the jury was asked to deliberate. This ruling marks another loss for the Department of Justice in a series of no-poach and wage-fixing criminal prosecutions and is significant because the court held that the alleged no-poach agreement did not constitute a per se market allocation violation as a matter of law.