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

Ali Motamedi

FTC Abandons Consumer Welfare Standard With Latest Lina Khan Edict

According to media reports, Lina Khan’s FTC intends to make “make wider use of its 1914 founding statute to police anticompetitive behavior by companies in the internet age.” At first glance, increased antitrust enforcement against anticompetitive behavior does not seem objectionable. However, a deeper dive into the FTC’s latest policy…

Antitrust

Ali Motamedi

News Flash to Lina Khan: Meta is No Monopoly

According to the FTC’s summary of their case against Meta, the principal justification for their legal action against the supposed ‘tech giant’ is that “the company is illegally maintaining its personal social networking monopoly through a years-long course of anticompetitive conduct.” While this claim may seem credible to laymen, those…

Antitrust

New Punchbowl News Poll: Klobuchar Antitrust Bill “Isn’t Terribly Popular”

The House passed the “Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act” (H.R. 3843) last week, legislation that would raise fees on larger companies engaging in M&A activity and prohibit companies from requesting a venue change when a state attorney general brings an antitrust suit.  Lawmakers who’ve been pushing for another bill, the…

Antitrust

FTC’s Politically Motivated Pursuit of Meta-Within Acquisition Gets Stranger

Not even Netflix’s Stranger Things has managed to construe odder narrative developments than the ones unfolding from the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) pursuit of a meritless lawsuit against Meta. This week, a report came out that Meta found out about FTC’s lawsuit against them from Twitter. The lack of warning before filing…

Antitrust

China-Backed TikTok Destroys DOJ Narrative by Emerging as Strong Competitor to Google

In an forthcoming antitrust suit against Google, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is attempting to depict the company as having such an overbearing market share in the search engine industry that they are preventing competitors from entering the market. As both parties are accumulating evidence, the evolving rise of China-backed…