Is a monopoly crushing your business? Did an acquisition mean someone in your family lost their job? Has your internet service gotten worse and more expensive? Are you living in a food desert? Monopoly power is the leading threat to the economic vitality of local communities, small businesses, and workers. This is because over the last four decades merger enforcement has become disconnected from the law and from the reality of how markets work.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Justice Department’s (DOJ) Antitrust Division, which share jurisdiction over antitrust enforcement, are proposing new Merger Guidelines. This is a monumental step toward dismantling monopoly power because the guidelines shape how enforcers evaluate proposed mergers and consolidation in our economy.
The new draft guidelines represent a significant shift in policy from the current guidelines and promise to bring merger review back into line with the letter and spirit of the antitrust laws. They greatly improve the agencies’ ability to stop mergers that violate these laws, undermine competition, and concentrate power in too few hands. The agencies are accepting public comment — at this link — on their draft guidelines through September 18, 2023.
It is crucial that the FTC and DOJ hear from the public — from you. Corporate America will be out in force making their case against the important work the FTC and DOJ are doing but hearing from you about how monopolies — like Amazon, CVS, Dollar General, Comcast, and beyond — impact you and your community is key to ensuring the guidelines are strong when they are finalized. Your experience with monopoly power makes you an expert and the FTC and DOJ want and need to hear your stories.
You can submit your stories here.
And if you want to dig deeper on the merger guidelines, check out our resources:
- Our Explainer breaks down the basics of the merger guidelines as well as their policy significance
- Our op-ed in Project Syndicate on how the guidelines, if adopted, would stop runaway corporate consolidation, rebuild local economies, and help preserve US democracy
- Our deep dive on the history and practice of merger law and enforcement policy can be found in our 2022 report — How New Federal Antimerger Guidelines Can Restore Competition and Build Local Power
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