Washington, DC - The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, at the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), filed a civil antitrust lawsuit Friday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against Biglari Holdings Inc. (Biglari Holdings), a restaurant chain owner and investment fund operator.

The lawsuit alleges that Biglari Holdings violated the pre-transaction notification and waiting period requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976 (HSR Act) for two acquisitions of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. voting securities made on March 16, 2020. At the same time, the department filed a proposed settlement, subject to approval by the court, under which Biglari Holdings has agreed to pay a $1,374,190 civil penalty to resolve the lawsuit.

The HSR Act imposes notification and waiting period requirements for transactions meeting certain size thresholds so that they can undergo pre-transaction antitrust review. Federal courts can assess civil penalties for pre-transaction notification violations under the HSR Act in lawsuits brought by the department. The maximum civil penalty for an HSR Act violation, which is adjusted annually, is currently $43,792 per day.