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

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…

Antitrust

Tom Hebert

Conservative, Free-Market Coalition Opposes Weaponizing Antitrust Laws

Today, a coalition of over 30 conservative, free-market groups, and activists released a letter opposing Democratic attempts to weaponize antitrust law. As the legislative clock ticks between now and November, savvy progressives will likely try to rush through any legislation that has a chance of “bipartisan” support. While left-wing proponents…

Antitrust

Tom Hebert

Sen. Warren’s Merger Ban Shows Left’s Antitrust End Game

Last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Representative Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) introduced the “Prohibiting Anticompetitive Mergers Act,” legislation that would empower the Biden Administration to unilaterally block mergers worth more than $5 billion.  This bill is the latest piece of the Democrat antitrust agenda and show’s the left’s…

Antitrust

Tom Hebert

Chaotic Markup Shows Klobuchar Antitrust Bill is Nowhere Near Ready For The Senate Floor

In a 16-6 vote Thursday, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced S. 2992, the “American Choice and Innovation Online Act.”  While Democrats and the media are painting this as a major step forward for the legislation, in reality the markup showed that S. 2992 is nowhere close to being ready for…

Antitrust

Tom Hebert

In One Tweet, Elizabeth Warren Exposes the Left’s Crackpot Antitrust Crusade

In a bizarre tweet this week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called for a round of antitrust action against grocery stores, showing that the left’s antitrust crusade goes far beyond technology companies.  Warren tweeted: “What happens when only a handful of giant grocery store chains like @Kroger dominate an industry? They can…

Antitrust

New Klobuchar Bill Would Kill M+A Activity

By: Tom Hebert Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has introduced the “Platform Competition and Opportunity Act,” a bill that would prevent a handful of targeted companies from making any new acquisitions of smaller companies. This bill is companion legislation to H.R. 3826, sponsored by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.).  Photo Credit:…

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,…