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

Dems Hold Antitrust Venue Bill Hostage to Ram Through Klobuchar’s Antitrust Pet Project

Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) blocked Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-Utah) bipartisan State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act, the second time Democrats have blocked unanimous consent on the legislation. Despite its popularity and likely passage if called for a Senate vote, Durbin is holding the bill hostage to pressure Congress…

Antitrust

Schumer Ignores Voter Concerns by Prioritizing Bills That Will Exacerbate Inflation

Last week, a Gallup poll surveying 2,000 Americans was released with 52% of Americans naming inflation as their most important issue. It was also the most important issue for Americans across all political affiliations surveyed, including Republicans, Independents and Democrats. Photo Credit: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from Washington…

Antitrust

OCC Submits Comments to Department of Agriculture to Provide Context on Rising Price of Fertilizer

Last week, the Open Competition Center submitted comments to contextualize the reason for the increasing price of fertilizer. The OCC warns against the new protectionist measures that the Biden Administration has taken against fertilizer imports from Morocco and Trinidad and Tobago. Despite the administration’s attempts to solely cast blame for…

Antitrust

ATR Op–Ed in The Hill: “Democrats scramble for antitrust momentum as time runs out”

On May 18, ATR Federal Affairs Manager Tom Hebert wrote an op-ed in The Hill. The op-ed details the fractured Democratic effort to rush sweeping antitrust reform through Congress.  Credit: Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons The reality of…

Antitrust

Obama Economic Advisor Shreds Biden Admin’s “Non-Analytic Approach” To Antitrust Policy

Former Obama Administration National Economic Council Director Larry Summers has recently come out as the latest critic of the Biden Administration’s attempts to radically shift the antitrust enforcement landscape to an environment that is anti-business, anti-consumer, but pro-big government.  Credit: Chatham House, CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons…

Antitrust

Tom Hebert

Progressives Call for Aggressive Antitrust Action to Block Musk Acquisition of Twitter

The left is up in arms about Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s announced acquisition of Twitter because of Musk’s pledge to transform Twitter into a platform for free speech. Since the left has been extraordinarily successful at using Twitter to censor conservatives, they are running scared at the idea that alternative…

Antitrust

Tom Hebert

OCC Submits Comments to the Department of Justice/ Federal Trade Commission’s Guidelines Modernization Inquiry

The Open Competition Center submitted comments to the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission’s Guidelines Modernization Inquiry. Any update to merger guidance should uphold the consumer welfare standard and reflect the reality that mergers and acquisitions are a major driver of American innovation and economic growth. You can…