Reuters: Biden widens war on junk fees, says US consumers tired of being treated as ‘suckers’

July 19, 2023 Media

The White House on Wednesday expanded its war on junk fees to the rental housing market, announced a crackdown on price-fixing in food and agricultural markets, and unveiled draft merger guidelines as part of an ongoing push to aid U.S. consumers.

President Joe Biden, who has made attacks on corporate greed and power a centerpiece of his presidency, explained the government’s latest actions at the fifth meeting of his 18-agency Competition Council at the White House on Wednesday.

“It’s about basic fairness,” he told Cabinet members and other council members, underscoring the need to continue driving down inflation. “Folks are tired of being played for suckers.”

Morgan Harper, a former Consumer Financial Protection Bureau official, welcomed Biden’s drive for more competition and said it would help smaller firms and entrepreneurs.

“We don’t really have a competitive marketplace unless we have strong government enforcement,” Harper, now at the American Economic Liberties Project, said. “Concentration issues all over the economy are hurting workers, they’re hurting small businesses, and they’re hurting consumers.”