FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For media inquiries, please contact: Reggie Rucker, ILSR Communications Director
WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 19, 2023) – Stacy Mitchell, Co-Executive Director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, released the following statement on the proposed new merger guidelines published today by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission:
“Forty-one years ago, the Reagan Administration cast aside the antimerger laws enacted by Congress and issued Merger Guidelines that explicitly encouraged corporations to concentrate power. This was a fundamental turning point in the nation’s political economy, and it would be hard to overstate its far-reaching impact. The 1982 Guidelines, which were embraced by subsequent Democratic and Republican administrations, ushered in waves of consolidation that have stripped Americans of their basic economic freedoms, left many industries brittle and weakened by a lack of competition, and imperiled our democracy by allowing a few corporations to assume an extraordinary degree of control over our lives and communities.
“For these reasons, today’s release of new draft guidelines by the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice is a moment to be welcomed by all Americans. This draft heralds a long overdue end to the dangerous and destructive approach of the last four decades. Its publication shows that, for the first time in generations, our antitrust agencies are stepping up to the responsibility entrusted to them under federal law to safeguard our markets and democracy from outsized private power.
“At the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, we hope and anticipate that the implementation of new merger guidelines, once finalized, will set the nation on a new path. By enforcing the antitrust laws as enacted by Congress, the FTC and DOJ can invigorate new business formation and open the way for industries to become more dynamic, competitive, and deconcentrated over time. This would help restore America’s capacity to produce goods and services, and it would bring new vitality to rural and urban communities across the country.
“We look forward to reviewing this draft in detail and working with the FTC and DOJ to ensure the final guidelines provide the agencies, the courts, and the public with the frameworks and rules we need to halt runaway concentration, rebuild the economy, and restore our democracy.”
- ILSR submitted extensive comments last year to the FTC and DOJ outlining detailed recommendations for new merger guidelines.
- We also published a report: “Rolling Back Corporate Concentration: How New Federal Antimerger Guidelines Can Restore Competition and Build Local Power.”
About the Institute for Local Self-Reliance
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance (ILSR) is a national nonprofit research and educational organization founded in 1974. ILSR has a vision of thriving, diverse, equitable communities. To reach this vision, we build local power to fight corporate control. We believe that democracy can only thrive when economic and political power is widely dispersed. Whether it’s fighting back against the outsize power of monopolies like Amazon or advocating to keep local renewable energy in the community that produced it, ILSR advocates for solutions that harness the power of citizens and communities.
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