Historically, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice have been neutral arbiters of antitrust policy so that consumers benefit from the free market. Unfortunately, in the last year of the Biden administration, these same two agencies have become something Americans can no longer rely on for fair antitrust enforcement.
That is why NetChoice raised opposition to today’s decision by the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to repeal and replace their vertical merger guidelines. These guidelines are broadly supported, bipartisan policies that cemented an objective, empirical based approach to antitrust enforcement.
“After throwing out merger guidelines supported by the Carter, Clinton, and Obama administrations on a party line vote with essentially no consumer input, Chair Khan should heed the many warnings that she will receive through public comments and change course,” said Carl Szabo, Vice President and General Counsel at NetChoice.
“By replacing the vertical merger guidelines, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission have doubled down on Biden’s partisan, subjective, and unaccountable approach to competition policy,” continued Szabo. “This move helps the administration distract voters from the inflation and bad economic policy by using two independent agencies as their puppets to place the blame on America’s tech industry.”
“Politically motivated moves like this destroy the credibility, independence, and expertise of the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice,” continued Szabo. “Partisan politics ignores what American consumers want and need – enforcement agencies that aren’t in the pocket of America’s elected politicians.”