Top antitrust official in Justice stepping down

WASHINGTON — Christine Varney, the top antitrust official in the U.S. Justice Department, is stepping down, the department said Wednesday.

She will join elite law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore, the firm said in an internal memo on Wednesday. She will be leaving the Justice Department as of Aug. 5, the department said.

Varney’s decision comes as the division is looking at AT&T Inc’s $39 billion plan to buy T-Mobile USA. The deal, which requires Federal Communications Commission and Justice Department approval, would concentrate 80 percent of U.S. wireless contract customers in just two companies — AT&T/T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless.

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