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.
ATR Submits Comments Urging FTC To Keep Bipartisan Limits On Antitrust Enforcement Authority
By: Tom Hebert Americans for Tax Reform, the Open Competition Center, and Digital Liberty today submitted comments to Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan urging the Commission to leave a 2015 bipartisan agreement in place that limits the FTC’s antitrust enforcement authority. Section 5 of the FTC Act outlaws “unfair…
Democrat Majority Leader Throws Cold Water On Sloppy Antitrust Package
By: Tom Hebert House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) has said that the rushed antitrust package is not ready for a full vote on the House floor, joining a growing bipartisan consensus that these bills are not ready for prime time. In remarks to the press, Hoyer said that Congress’s role…
29-Hour House Judiciary Markup Shows Democrat Antitrust Bills Are Not Ready for Prime Time
By: Tom Hebert The House Judiciary Committee just concluded a marathon markup of six bills that would weaponize antitrust law and give Biden bureaucrats sweeping new regulatory power. All six of the bills limped out of the Committee and were sent to the House floor. For the most part, conservatives…
House Democrats Call On Pelosi To Delay Cicilline Antitrust Package Markup
By: Tom Hebert Eight House Democrats called on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and other top Democrats to delay the markup of the antitrust package spearheaded by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.). Reps. Suzan DelBene, Scott Peters, Sharice Davids, Ann McLane Kuster, Chrissy Houlahan, Kathy Manning, Bradley Schneider, and Stacey Plaskett signed…
25+ Conservative Groups and Activists Urge Congress to Reject Democrat Antitrust Power-Grab
By: Tom Hebert A coalition of 26 conservative groups and grassroots activists at both the state and federal level released a letter today urging Congress to reject the Democrat antitrust power-grab spearheaded by Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and organized by far-left Members like Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.). The coalition’s message is clear…
Republicans Should Reject Cicilline Mega-Regulation Antitrust Package
By: Tom Hebert Congressman David Cicilline (D-R.I.) is releasing a package of antitrust bills with several Democrat sponsors that would fundamentally rewrite antitrust law to the detriment of American shoppers. Cicilline is attempting to use conservative anger at Big Tech to persuade Republican lawmakers into giving the Biden Administration nearly…
Antitrust proposal would empower bureaucrats and greedy trial lawyers
Originally Published in The Hill on 5/31/21 01:01 PM EDT By: Tom Hebert The Democratic Party is attempting to weaponize antitrust law to reshape the economy and punish successful American companies for political gain. To that end, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has introduced the “Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement…
Republicans should continue to champion the consumer welfare standard
Originally Published in the Washington Examiner on May 03, 2021 03:03 PM By: Grover Norquist Conservatives are understandably concerned about Big Tech censorship, with some looking to use antitrust law to “break up” companies they don’t like. Politicizing the antitrust enforcement process would only play into the Left’s hands. It…
Republicans Should Continue To Reject Cicilline Antitrust Report
The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday will markup the “Investigation of Competition in Digital Markets” report spearheaded by Antitrust Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline (D-R.I.). The report is nothing more than a Democrat attempt to reshape decades of antitrust law to the detriment of American competition and innovation. Not a single…
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…