Perhaps more than at any time in its history, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under Chair Lina Khan has highlighted substantive rulemaking as a central element of its policy agenda. But despite a great deal of rule-related sound and fury (signifying nothing?), new final rules have yet to emerge, and do not appear imminent. This ... Where Are the New FTC Rules?
The Biden administration’s Oct. 30 “Executive Order on the Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Development and Use of Artificial Intelligence” proposes to “govern… the development and use of AI safely and responsibly” by “advancing a coordinated, Federal Government-wide approach to doing so.” (Emphasis added.) This “all-of-government approach,” which echoes the all-of-government approach of the 2021 “Executive ... The Biden Executive Order on AI: A Recipe for Anticompetitive Overregulation
Draft Merger Guidelines Do Not ‘Return Antitrust to a Sound Economic and Legal Foundation’ – A Response to Professor Kwoka
In a recently published article in ProMarket, John Kwoka of Northeastern University (who “worked on the draft Merger Guidelines while serving at the Federal Trade Commission as chief economist to the chair in 2022”) asserts that the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) draft merger guidelines aim to improve “deficient merger enforcement” ... Draft Merger Guidelines Do Not ‘Return Antitrust to a Sound Economic and Legal Foundation’ – A Response to Professor Kwoka
FTC’s Amazon Complaint: Perhaps the Greatest Affront to Consumer and Producer Welfare in Antitrust History
“Seldom in the history of U.S. antitrust law has one case had the potential to do so much good [HARM] for so many people.” – Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Competition Deputy Director John Newman, quoted in a Sept. 26 press release announcing the FTC’s lawsuit against Amazon (correction IN ALL CAPS is mine) ... FTC’s Amazon Complaint: Perhaps the Greatest Affront to Consumer and Producer Welfare in Antitrust History
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Labor Department (DOL) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) this past week “to strengthen the Agencies’ partnership through greater cooperation and coordination in information sharing, investigations and enforcement activity, training, education, research, and outreach.” The accompanying Sept. 21 announcement is another example of FTC overreach, as it highlights ... More FTC Overreach in Labor Markets
The FTC, DOJ, and International Competition Law: Convergence Away From the Consumer Welfare Standard?
In less than two and a half years, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) have undone more than two decades of work aimed at moving global competition law toward an economics-friendly consumer welfare standard. In tandem with foreign competition authorities, the U.S. antitrust agencies are now cooperating in an effort to ... The FTC, DOJ, and International Competition Law: Convergence Away From the Consumer Welfare Standard?
Among the many public-interest comments submitted on the draft merger guidelines proposed by the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) were those of Gregory Werden, who has been a visiting scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University since late 2022. Why is Greg’s filing special? Simply put, he is the ... When Greg Werden Talks, the Courts May Be Expected to Listen
Introduction On July 19, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (the agencies) finally issued new draft Merger Guidelines (DMG), open to public comments for two months. The DMG embody a set of thirteen individual Guidelines, which “are not exhaustive of the ways that a merger may substantially lessen competition or tend ... The New Merger Guideline Commandments: Thirteen is an Unlucky Number
Bloomberg reports that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) plans a suit against Amazon to force the divestiture of the company’s logistics service. The suit, if correctly described, would try and do through litigation what could not be achieved through legislation, when Congress did not enact the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA). A successful ... The FTC Shouldn’t Try to Make Amazon Divest Its Logistics Service
Consistent with the neo-Brandeisian penchant for downplaying (some would say ignoring) consumer-welfare concerns, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently touted its interest in “reinvigorating” enforcement of the Robinson-Patman Act (RPA). This would stand sensible antitrust-enforcement policy on its head, by devoting resources to actions that predictably would tend to diminish consumer welfare. In the hope ... The Robinson-Patman Act: The Anti-Consumer Welfare Statute
The United Kingdom’s 2016 “Brexit” decision to leave the European Union created the opportunity for the elimination of unwarranted and excessive EU regulations that had constrained UK economic growth and efficiency. Recognizing that fact, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson launched the Task Force on Innovation, Growth, and Regulatory Reform, whose May 2021 report recommended “a new regulatory ... UK Poised to Begin Realizing Brexit’s Regulatory-Reform Potential
The United Kingdom’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) late last month moved to block Microsoft’s proposed vertical acquisition of Activision Blizzard, a video-game developer that creates and publishes games such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch. Microsoft summarized this transaction’s substantial benefits to video game players in its January 2022 press release announcing the proposed merger. The ... UK Blocking of Microsoft-Activision Merger Is Anticompetitive and Anti-Innovation