Senator Klobuchar’s Monopoly Bill Won’t Work
For Immediate Release: March 11, 2020
Press Contact: Carli Kientzle at firstname.lastname@example.org
SENATOR KLOBUCHAR’S MONOPOLY BILL WON’T WORK
Washington, D.C. – The American Economic Liberties Project released the following statement after Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) today introduced the Anticompetitive Exclusionary Conduct Prevention Act.
“While we appreciate Senator Klobuchar’s effort to address the monopoly crisis facing this country, specifically the provision of her bill designed to end the judge-imposed antitrust exemption for certain kinds of regulated conduct, we have reservations about her approach,” said Economic Liberties’ Executive Director Sarah Miller. “This bill creates vague standards that corporations’ well-heeled lawyers will exploit. Congress needs to make clear rules, not give ambiguous instructions to judges to determine when a monopolist is acting improperly,” added Miller.
By relying on vague terms like “risk of harming competition,” open-ended standards for identifying law-breaking like “the totality of the circumstances,” and “baseless or even bad faith,” the Anticompetitive Exclusionary Conduct Prevention Act is likely to accomplish little.
“For example, while it’s a merger case and not conduct,” added Miller, “a Bill Clinton-appointed judge recently approved T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint, even though that merger was presumptively illegal under current law. It showed that even presumptions of the kind Senator Klobuchar’s bill introduces can be easily gamed. Bills like this are a recipe for continued corporate control of antitrust law.”
“Antitrust law should operate by clear rules so that judges and businesses can do their jobs,” said Miller. “If we are going to change the law, make the change meaningful rather than continue on a failed path. If a corporation has a certain market share or above in any specific market, it should simply be illegal for that corporation to exclude others. Period. Full stop.”
Complicated and open-ended standards favor powerful, rich corporate defendants and handicap consumers and public agencies trying to police wrongdoing.
Read the New York Times profile on Sarah Miller and Economic Liberties here
Learn more about Economic Liberties here
Economic Liberties works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. AELP 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.