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DoJ's top antitrust official calls it quits

Hewitt Pate, who oversaw the Justice Department's ill-fated pursuit of the Oracle-Peoplesoft merger, has called it quits.

Pate said Tuesday he's leaving his job as assistant attorney general for antitrust on June 30.

The Justice Department sued to block what started as Oracle's hostile bid and ended in a peaceful acquisition deal. But a federal court shot down the lawsuit and Pate didn't appeal.

Pate also tussled with the European Union, saying that Europeans are more ready to declare that a company has a "dominant position," while Americans have "a more Darwinian view of the competition process."

Pate may return to his previous job in the antitrust section of the law firm Hunton and Williams (with a salary boost that will easily cover his pay cut during his .gov time).