WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. House of Representatives approved an antitrust package sponsored by Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.). NetChoice condemns this action that will undermine consumer welfare, give more funding to progressive FTC officials who are already using their positions for political activism, and deprive defendants in antitrust cases of their due process rights in court.
The package contains three bills: the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act, the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act and the Foreign Merger Subsidy Disclosure Act. Perhaps the most concerning of these is the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act, which would give FTC Chair Lina Khan a cash handout.
“NetChoice is disappointed to see this package pass in the House of Representatives, especially with bipartisan support,” said Carl Szabo, NetChoice Vice President and General Counsel. “These bills are detrimental to law-abiding Americans and give more cash handouts to radical agencies pursuing Biden’s progressive agenda, like the FTC. Rather than giving the FTC more money, Congress should really ask what the FTC is doing with the money it’s got. Throwing more money at the FTC just encourages more wasteful government spending at a time when Americans are being forced to pinch pennies.”
“It’s also notable that the American Innovation and Choice Online Act and the Open App Markets Act—the cornerstones of Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Richard Blumenthal’s antitrust push—were not included in the package,” continued Szabo. “Even the House has sidelined their radical, progressive antitrust agenda.”
As for the FTC, in 2021, the American Rescue Plan included $30.4 million in new funding for the agency, available until Sept. 30, 2026:
- 4.4 million to process and monitor complaints related to COVID-19
- $2 million for consumer related education
- $24 million to hire additional full-time employees.
But where is all this additional funding going? And why can’t Khan fulfill the mission of her agency without more?
NetChoice is disappointed in Congress’ decision to direct an estimated $1.4 billion in new taxes from American businesses to progressive ideologies. Hopefully Congress will now turn its attention to appropriate oversight of the FTC and DOJ.