Washington-President Biden formed the most aggressive antitrust team in decades, preparing to consolidate and gain market power in efforts such as blocking mergers and dissolving large corporations. , Stacked his administration with three legal crusade.
Biden’s decision last week Name Jonathan Canter Leading the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department is the latest sign of his willingness to clash with the United States of companies to promote more competition in the tech industry and across the economy. Mr. Canter has spent years acting as a lawyer on behalf of rival companies to fight giants like Facebook and Google.
If confirmed by the Senate, he will join Lina Khan who helped Reconstruct academic debate Beyond antitrust law, now heading the Federal Trade Commission, Tim Wu Longtime supporters of disbanding Facebook And now other big companies that are the president’s special aides for technology and competition policy.
The appointment was made by the Democratic Party’s new anti-trust activities, the concentration of power on technology, and the Byden administration that other industries such as pharmaceuticals, agriculture, medical care, and finance hurt consumers and workers and hindered economic growth. It shows both growing concerns.
They also emphasize that Mr Biden is harnessing the power of his office and proceeding without waiting for a more severe recovery of Congressional action. This is a faster, potentially riskier approach.This month he Issued an executive order It is packed with 72 initiatives aimed at creating competition in various industries, increasing scrutiny of mergers, and limiting the widespread practice of forcing workers to sign non-compete agreements.
External groups of the administration and ideological allies are new to federal regulators if Mr. Biden wants to truly follow in the footsteps of his antitrust idols Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt. It warns that drastic legislation needs to be promoted to empower, especially in the high-tech sector. The core federal antitrust law, created over a century ago, is: I never imagined Large companies may offer low prices to their customers, but at the expense of competition, the types of commerce that exist today.
The administration has quietly supported the bill passing the House of Representatives, but has promoted Congressional antitrust laws, as Mr. Biden is doing on the $ 4 trillion economic agenda infrastructure, childcare and other factors. I’m not trying to take the lead.
If the judge continues to strike by the Justice Department, FTC, or other agency, it can be a problem.
Last month, a federal judge dismissed the FTC proceedings against Facebook, saying the agency did not make a convincing claim that the company was monopolized and ordered it to be more justified.Kahn faced her first major test when resubmitting the proceeding, and on Friday the agency Asked the court for more time..
Biden’s antitrust choices are monopolized by Facebook, Google and Amazon, leveraging their dominant position in social media, search and online retail to crush competitors and give consumers choices Claims to be less. ..
Companies and some economists are divided. Facebook points to TikTok, Snap, Twitter and Amazon as examples of competitors. Claims to have only 5 percent of all retail sales In the United States, eMarketer research shows that 40% of all online retail revenue comes from platforms.
The president and his aides have cast a hug of the “trust buster” spirit as an important step in rebalancing the economy to not only lower prices, but also intensify competition and create high-paying jobs. rice field.
“I’ve always thought that the free market system isn’t just about competition between companies, it’s about guessing. Companies have to compete for workers,” Byden said Wednesday in Ohio. He spoke to the CNN audience and advertised the presidential order. “What do you guess — maybe they will pay more.”
White House officials, as President Donald J. Trump did, was talking about putting tough regulators in a strong position to issue executive orders on competition and dissolve the tech-hospital merger. No, claiming that antitrust efforts can be successful.
“We have hope,” said Diana Moss, chairman of the US Antitrust Institute and a supporter of stronger competition enforcement. “But when rubber meets the road, they will have to reconcile the reality of court, parliament, and external pressure with the positive agenda.”
Some economists say Biden’s appointees could move beyond efforts to truly curb competition and eliminate consumer-damaging concentration into industries such as restaurants and grocery stores. I’m warning you. There, they say, domestic players entering the local market often gave their customers more choices and created more jobs.
“I’m most worried about rhetoric,” said Chang-Tai Hsieh, an economist at the University of Chicago. The study discovered The concentration of companies in recent years has created innovations that support the economy. “They are looking at what they see in the tech industry — and the tech industry is different. And they are extrapolating from the tech industry to all other industries.”
Corporate America is already fighting Mr. Biden’s efforts.Google, Facebook, Amazon It fills the legal team with antitrust experts and has recently hired veteran government antitrust officials... Facebook and Amazon have petitioned Mr. Kang to withdraw from antitrust issues related to him. They say Kang, who worked on a digital platform antitrust investigation, has a prejudice about their company. Critics of private-sector antitrust lawyer Canter have pointed out past representatives of Microsoft and News Corporation as conflicts of interest as the Justice Department engages in a legal battle with Google.
Mr. Biden’s move reflects the growing influence of the movement to curb corporate power, which has spread from progressive scholars and liberal leaders such as Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts to the most conservative Republicans in Congress. doing.
Thomas Phillipon, New York University Economist, End in 2019 Its rising market concentration hurt the U.S. economy and sacrificed typical Americans $ 5,000 a year. Government officials have repeatedly cited the statistics in support of Mr. Biden’s recent executive order.
Working to crack down on market concentration and promote competition “can make a big difference in the lives of millions of people in the country,” said Biden, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. Warren’s former aide, Bharat Ramamurti, said in an interview.
Ramamurti not only dissolves the company, but also allows consumers to choose more checking accounts, cheaper, sell hearing aids without a prescription, and allow employees to work for competitors. Listed the potential benefits of limiting company restrictions on whether or not.
This approach is in stark contrast to the views of regulators during the Obama administration, when Mr Biden was Vice President.
The number of merged hospitals has quadrupled during President Barack Obama’s first term, with millions of patients having fewer options and higher medical costs.
In 2011, regulators approved the merger of Comcast and NBCUniversal. A combination of strong cable and internet providers and media giants, the company’s vice president, David Cohen, rejected: Not “especially restrictive”.
Only one of the three Federal Communications Commission members opposed the deal, and Christine Barney, head of the Justice Department’s antitrust law, said the merger “brings new and innovative products to the market.” It will give consumers more programming options. “
In 2016, Obama’s agricultural secretary, Tom Billsack, who resumed Biden’s role, downplayed the harm of the agricultural merger.
“Even if some major players potentially merge or consider other types of arrangements, it inevitably guarantees that farmers will have less choice in the long run. I don’t think, “said Billsack. Said In an interview with USA Today.
Biden has instructed federal regulators to consider stricter policies for business integration in hospitals, health insurance, meat processing and technology, including a review of past approved mergers.
And his antitrust regulators are trying to unleash the merger approved during the Obama era. The Federal Trade Commission’s recent proceedings to dissolve Facebook have focused on purchasing Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014. Authorities did not prevent the merger, saying there was not enough evidence of harm to consumers and competition.
These decisions are back to annoy the FTC. A federal judge who dismissed Facebook’s complaint in June asked about the outline and why the Commission had been waiting so long to release these deals.
Courts are becoming more and more conservative in antitrust proceedings and are more strongly adhering to the belief that rising prices are the strongest sign of non-competition.
Executive officials acknowledged the challenge and scrutinized the antitrust views of future judicial candidates, hoping to bend the court to a more sympathetic view of the government’s efforts to prevent the merger and dismantle the monopoly. Say you are.
Biden’s antitrust team has a big impact on corporate Titans
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