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Showing archive for:  “Clayton Act”

Kroger/Albertsons: Is Labor Bargaining Power an Antitrust Harm?

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent complaint challenging the proposed merger of the supermarkets Kroger Co. and Albertsons Companies Inc. has important implications for antitrust enforcement in labor markets. Central to the FTC’s case is how it chooses to define the relevant markets, and particularly the commission’s focus on unionized grocery workers. The complaint alleges ... Kroger/Albertsons: Is Labor Bargaining Power an Antitrust Harm?

What Do We Do with Presumptions in Antitrust?

Winter was coming, as it does. We knew the agencies were going to issue new merger guidelines, and then they did. On Dec. 18, 2023, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) jointly issued merger guidelines, supplanting 2023’s draft guidelines, the 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines, and the 2020 (partially withdrawn) Vertical Merger ... What Do We Do with Presumptions in Antitrust?

The Conundrum of Out-of-Market Effects in Merger Enforcement

Section 7 of the Clayton Act prohibits mergers that harm competition in “in any line” of commerce. And, indeed, the Supreme Court’s decisions in Philadelphia National Bank and Topco are often cited on behalf of the proposition that this means any single cognizable market, and that anticompetitive effects in one market cannot be offset by ... The Conundrum of Out-of-Market Effects in Merger Enforcement

FTC v. Illumina/Grail – A Rare FTC Merger Victory? (Actually, a Loss for Consumers)

Although it was overshadowed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Justice Department’s (DOJ) year-end release of the 2023 merger guidelines, one should also note the abrupt end of the FTC v. Illumina/Grail saga. The saga finished with the FTC’s Dec. 18 press release announcing that Illumina decided on Dec.17 to divest itself of ... FTC v. Illumina/Grail – A Rare FTC Merger Victory? (Actually, a Loss for Consumers)

A Consumer-Welfare-Centric Reform Agenda for the Federal Trade Commission

As we approach a presidential election year, it is time to begin developing a  comprehensive reform agenda for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). In that spirit, this post proposes 12 reforms that could be implemented by new leadership, either through unilateral action by a new chair or (in some cases) majority votes of the commission. ... A Consumer-Welfare-Centric Reform Agenda for the Federal Trade Commission

Market Power as a Limiting Principle in Merger Enforcement

One of the most important changes in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Justice Department’s (DOJ) draft merger guidelines is the abandonment of market power as the central element of merger enforcement. The “unifying theme” of the 2010 horizontal merger guidelines was that “mergers should not be permitted to create, enhance, or entrench market ... Market Power as a Limiting Principle in Merger Enforcement

The Changing Role of Structural Presumption at the Federal Trade Commission

The draft merger guidelines that were released July 19 by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) indicate a shift by the agencies toward an overreliance on structural market factors to trigger merger scrutiny.  For example, Draft Guideline 1—titled “Mergers Should Not Significantly Increase Concentration in Highly Concentrated Markets”—would lower the bar ... The Changing Role of Structural Presumption at the Federal Trade Commission

Abandoning Antitrust Common Sense: The FTC’s New Normal?

This symposium wonders what exactly is “The FTC’s New Normal”? The short answer: scary. The current Federal Trade Commission (FTC) leadership is clear that old U.S. Supreme Court opinions, rather than more recent jurisprudence, are their lodestones for antitrust analysis. This is dramatically illustrated by the draft merger guidelines recently proposed by the FTC and ... Abandoning Antitrust Common Sense: The FTC’s New Normal?

The FTC Tacks Into the Gale, Battening No Hatches: Part 1

The Evolution of FTC Antitrust Enforcement – Highlights of Its Origins and Major Trends 1910-1914 – Creation and Launch The election of 1912, which led to the creation of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), occurred at the apex of the Progressive Era. Since antebellum times, Grover Cleveland had been the only Democrat elected as president. ... The FTC Tacks Into the Gale, Battening No Hatches: Part 1

Antitrust at the Agencies Roundup: Back to the Past Edition

Labor Day approaches with most of us looking forward to a long weekend off, but there’s much in competition world looming on the horizon. As I am looking forward to a couple of days off, I’ll offer more of an annotated bibliography than analysis. But also a bit of discussion, because I am what I ... Antitrust at the Agencies Roundup: Back to the Past Edition

Artificial Intelligence Meets Organic Folly

In a May 3 op-ed in The New York Times, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan declares that “We Must Regulate A.I. Here’s How.” I’m concerned after reading it that I missed both the regulatory issue and the “here’s how” part, although she does tell us that “enforcers and regulators must be vigilant.” Indeed, ... Artificial Intelligence Meets Organic Folly

7 Top Takeaways from the 2nd Annual Mercatus Antitrust Forum

At the Jan. 26 Policy in Transition forum—the Mercatus Center at George Mason University’s second annual antitrust forum—various former and current antitrust practitioners, scholars, judges, and agency officials held forth on the near-term prospects for the neo-Brandeisian experiment undertaken in recent years by both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ). ... 7 Top Takeaways from the 2nd Annual Mercatus Antitrust Forum