Antitrust

The consumer welfare standard, which maximizes consumer benefits instead of protecting individual competitors in the market, has been the north star of antitrust policy for over four decades. Antitrust law under the consumer welfare standard is primarily focused benefiting consumers and strengthening the competitive process, not to protect companies from being outperformed by other firms. This objective, rule-of-law approach has protected American innovation and brought consistency to antitrust enforcement. 

The left – and unfortunately some on the right – want to nullify the consumer welfare standard in favor of a more activist, interventionist approach to antitrust enforcement. Their ultimate goal is to use antitrust law to address unrelated social goals and “break up” big companies. Overzealous regulators would target large companies no matter how much they improve American lives or compete fairly with other firms. This would have a chilling effect on free enterprise, crush American innovation, and give activist bureaucrats license to fundamentally reshape the American economy. OCC opposes any and all efforts to weaken or overturn the consumer welfare standard, and stands firm against attempts to use antitrust law to reshape the economy. 

We will also oppose proposals such as aggressive merger prohibitions, inverting the burden of proof, allowing collusion and antitrust exemptions for politically favored firms, and politicizing antitrust enforcement decision-making more generally. Arbitrary or overly broad antitrust enforcement will impede economic recovery and risks job losses—something we should not exacerbate as the nation recovers from economic hardships and adapts to evolving market dynamics and changing consumer needs resulting from the global pandemic.

Antitrust

Sen. Klobuchar’s “Antitrust” Bill is A Trojan Horse for Big Government

By: Tom Hebert Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has introduced the “American Innovation and Choice Online Act,” companion legislation to Rep. David Cicilline’s (D-R.I.) House version. Several Senate Republicans, motivated by concerns over Big Tech censorship of conservatives, have cosponsored the Klobuchar bill.  Photo Credit: Lorie Shaull from St Paul,…

Antitrust

OCC, ATRF Submit Comments to CMA on Facebook/Giphy Merger

Americans for Tax Reform Foundation International Advocacy Manager Andreas Hellmann and Open Competition Center Executive Director Tom Hebert recently submitted comments to the United Kingdom’s Competition and Market Authority (CMA) calling on them to stop weaponizing their investigation into the Facebook-Giphy merger. This investigation is another unfortunate development in a…

Antitrust

Far-Left Rep. Jayapal Forecasts Harmful Senate Antitrust Agenda

By: Tom Hebert In an interview last week, far-left Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) forecasted possible Senate antitrust companion legislation to the Cicilline antitrust package that was drafted with little input from rank-and-file Republican members.  The left’s antitrust agenda would vastly empower unelected Biden bureaucrats and screw up the goods and services…

Antitrust

FTC Letters Put American Companies In “Mother-May-I” Relationship With Unelected Bureaucrats

By: Tom Hebert The Federal Trade Commission has started sending letters warning certain companies engaged in mergers and acquisitions (M+A) to proceed “at their own risk” until the FTC weighs in, according to a blog post from Bureau of Competition Director Holly Vedova.  This is yet another part of FTC Chair…

Antitrust

Jonathan Kanter Would Abandon Consumer Welfare Standard As Antitrust Top Cop

By: Tom Hebert President Joe Biden has nominated antitrust attorney Jonathan Kanter to lead the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. Kanter, who has slammed the long-held consumer welfare standard as “judicial activism,” is the wrong choice to lead the Antitrust Division.  Photo Credit: New America A chorus of leading Democrats…