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NetChoice Opposes Guilty-Until-Proven-Innocent Approach to Antitrust in the Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act of 2021

Today, NetChoice opposed Senator Klobuchar’s Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act of 2021. This piece of legislation will arbitrarily force businesses to prove that their merger will not harm competition, eliminating necessary requirements for market definition which prevent the US government from prosecuting businesses they subjectively dislike.

“By establishing a guilty-until-proven-innocent standard for mergers, this approach would undermine businesses that use acquisitions to ensure new and innovative products are quickly available to consumers,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel of NetChoice. “In an attempt to push forward a progressive agenda, the Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act of 2021 leaves American consumers in the dust when it comes to the best technology and most affordable products.”

“This misuse of antitrust law could render America decades behind in its technological innovation and investment, something that will surely impede our post-COVID recovery,” continued Szabo. “Not only will we be stuck with inferior technology, Americans could see this precedent make local newspapers fail, our grocery retailers unaffordable, and our hopes for more small businesses and start-ups dashed.

“This bill makes clear that progressives are using Big Tech as a trojan horse to undermine existing antitrust laws that prioritize and protect consumers. And by using an exclusionary conduct provision, this bill does the exact opposite of what antitrust law is designed for and will protect competitors rather than consumers.”