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Showing archive for:  “Labor & Monopsony”

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

Hands Across the Agencies

In the headline to a Dec. 7 press release, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it, in concert with the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), had managed to “Lower Health Care and Drug Costs, Promote Competition to Benefit Patients, Health Care Workers.” According to the subhead: ... Hands Across the Agencies

The Biden Executive Order on AI: A Recipe for Anticompetitive Overregulation

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

More FTC Overreach in Labor Markets

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

Antitrust at the Agencies Roundup: Take My Default … Please! Edition

I can hardly believe it, but I’ve read that a famous old bit by Henny Youngman has been purged from Florida textbooks, apparently because it was deemed offensive to those who wrote, told, and laughed at the joke. I won’t tell it here, but you can look it up. And if you’re a reader of ... Antitrust at the Agencies Roundup: Take My Default … Please! Edition

The FTC Tacks Into the Gale, Battening No Hatches: Part 2

Part 1 of this piece can be found here. Emergence of the ‘Neo-Brandeisians’ Thus, matters unfolded until the curtain began to descend on the second Obama term in 2016. In the midst of presidential primary season, a targeted political challenge to the prevailing economic approach to antitrust first came to light. No one has yet ... The FTC Tacks Into the Gale, Battening No Hatches: Part 2

Sloshing Around with the ‘Waterbed Effect’

If you spend a lot of time in the world of competition policy—or any time at all on the announced Kroger/Albertsons merger—you will eventually stumble on the unfortunately named and greatly misunderstood “waterbed effect.” In a congressional hearing regarding the merger, this purported effect was mentioned at least a half-dozen times. If you were born ... Sloshing Around with the ‘Waterbed Effect’

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

Antitrust at the Agencies Roundup: Kill All the Widgets Edition

Over the river, into the woods, and down into the weeds we go. There’s a whole lot of drama going on at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), not least because of recent correspondence between the U.S. House Oversight Committee and FTC Chair Lina Khan that might politely—euphemistically, really—be termed “heated.” But I’m not gonna go ... Antitrust at the Agencies Roundup: Kill All the Widgets Edition

New Merger Guidelines Are As Expected. That’s Not a Compliment.

Fifteen months after the close of the comment period, we finally have the release of the draft merger guidelines by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the U.S. Justice Department (DOJ). While there is a lot to digest in the 51 page document with over 100 (largely stale) footnotes, the broad picture is clear: the goal of ... New Merger Guidelines Are As Expected. That’s Not a Compliment.

NLRB Targeting of Noncompetes Lacks a Sound Legal Foundation

Jennifer Abruzzo, general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), recently issued a memo claiming that certain noncompete clauses in labor contracts are illegal, on grounds that they violate employees’ right to organize and negotiate better working conditions under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRB isn’t the first Biden ... NLRB Targeting of Noncompetes Lacks a Sound Legal Foundation

Antitrust Regulators Should Be Careful Not to Shank the PGA-LIV Deal

In a world in which so-called “Big Tech” has dominated antitrust discussions for a decade or more, who would’ve guessed that golf would grab the biggest headlines? The proposed merger of the PGA Tour and LIV Golf has some major headline-grabbing potential: sports, big money, big names, 9/11, human-rights abuses, and cringeworthy public-relations attempts. Aside ... Antitrust Regulators Should Be Careful Not to Shank the PGA-LIV Deal