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

Klobuchar’s Antitrust Bill Would Decimate Mergers and Acquisitions

WikiMedia Commons/Gage Skidmore Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has introduced “The Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act,” sweeping legislation that rewrites U.S. antitrust law and overturns decades of enforcement precedent. The bill makes it vastly more difficult for mergers and acquisitions to occur, which will stifle innovation and entrepreneurship.  The…

Antitrust

OCC Opposes Biden FTC Nominee Lina Khan

President Joe Biden has announced plans to nominate Lina Khan to a seat on the Federal Trade Commission. If confirmed, Khan will advocate for an interventionist approach to antitrust enforcement that will have a chilling effect on American innovation.  Khan has been a leading scholar in the progressive Neo-Brandisian movement…

Antitrust

Rise of Personal Shoppers Shows Robust Competition in Same-Day Delivery Market

Coronavirus lockdowns have fueled a massive surge in online shopping, with American e-commerce growing a staggering 44 percent in 2020 and online spending representing 21.3 percent of all sales.  Brick-and-mortar retailers have responded to this demand by rethinking their business models and expanding the resources they dedicate to fulfilling digital orders.

Antitrust

Lawmakers Should Reject Antitrust Proposals That Undermine The Consumer Welfare Standard

Congress is beginning to debate reforms to antitrust law. As lawmakers consider different approaches, they should reject any proposal that weakens or undermines the consumer welfare standard. Moving away from the consumer welfare standard would cripple free enterprise, discourage innovation and competition, and harm American consumers. Photo Credit: chucka_nc The…

Antitrust

Antitrust Burden-Shifting Would Be A Trial Lawyer Cash Cow

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has introduced “The Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act,” legislation that would weaponize U.S. antitrust law and overturn decades of enforcement precedent.  One of the legislation’s most egregious provisions flips the burden of proof for monopolization litigation from the plaintiff to the defendant. If implemented,…

Antitrust

Congress Should Reject Sen. Klobuchar’s Antitrust Government Power Grab

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has introduced “The Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act,” sweeping legislation that rewrites U.S. antitrust law and overturns decades of enforcement precedent. This legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), and Ed Markey (D-Mass.).  If implemented, Klobuchar’s bill would give faceless…

Antitrust

Antitrust Zeal Threatens Fintechs

With its recent antitrust case against Google, the Department of Justice is making headlines. The government’s penchant for meddling in the market won’t stop with tech companies. Even with Congress’ recent antitrust investigation proclaiming to focus on “Big Tech,” Washington’s true desire spans the entire economy. One of Congress’ targets…