Economic Liberties’ Statement on Senator Amy Klobuchar’s Competition and Antitrust Enforcement Reform Act
Washington, D.C. – Sarah Miller, Executive Director of the American Economic Liberties Project, released the following statement in response to Senator Amy Klobuchar’s Competition and Antitrust Enforcement Reform Act.
“Monopoly power is now widely recognized to be a systemic feature of the American economy and an existential threat to American democracy. As a growing body of research increasingly confirms, corporate concentration causes or exacerbates a broad range of entrenched social challenges, from stagnant wages to wealth, regional, and racial inequality, declining entrepreneurship and innovation, vulnerable supply chains, and a severely weakened independent press. These outcomes were set in motion exactly 40 years ago, when antitrust enforcers, on a bipartisan basis, instrumentalized a new, pro-concentration ideological framework that empowered judges to interpret antitrust law based on predictive, easily-gamed economic analyses.
“The coming months and years will determine whether policymakers can turn the page on this failed era to establish an administrable, structuralist approach that provides clarity to the judiciary and fairness to market participants, while also rebalancing power in our economy towards working people, smaller businesses, and communities across the country. To that end, we are eager for Senator Amy Klobuchar’s leadership as the incoming Chair of the Antitrust Subcommittee, for the in-depth knowledge and integrity she brings to this challenge, and to the hearings, oversight, and policy debates that reforming a complex legal framework to successfully address America’s concentration crisis will require. In this initial legislative package, we are particularly supportive of the inclusion of bright line rules, such as the structural presumption that would effectively bar very large corporations from engaging in M&A activity. We have concerns, however, about aspects of the legislation that retain the “rule of reason” framework that grants judges wide discretion to arbitrarily or narrowly interpret antitrust law, and look forward to continuing to engage on that longer-term challenge.
“At this particular moment, Senator Klobuchar’s leadership over a robust investigatory and oversight agenda is of even greater significance than the specific details of any single piece of legislation. We are confident that Senator Klobuchar will be a stalwart and historic Senate leader that embraces the hearings, investigations, policy debates, and tough political fights that addressing America’s concentration crisis will entail.”
The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.