The Department of Justice is dropping its probe into four big automakers that sided with California over the Trump administration on emissions standards, The Hill reported.
Announced in September, the investigation focused on BMW, Ford, Volkswagen and Honda and examined whether they violated the law by agreeing to follow stricter emissions standards advocated by California rather than ones set by the federal government.
California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom hailed the news, calling it a "sham" probe and calling its closure a “huge win for anyone who cares about" the law and the air.
The DOJ investigation examined whether the companies' agreement with California unfairly stifled auto sale competition in the state.
Though critics called the probe politically fueled, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, head of the DOJ's antitrust division, pushed back in a commentary for USA Today last September.
“Those who criticize even the prospect of an antitrust investigation should know that, when it comes to antitrust, politically popular ends should not justify turning a blind eye to the competition laws,” he wrote.
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