Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA), Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sen Mark Warner (D-VA), Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN), Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
The “Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act of 2021” increases the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice Antitrust (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s annual budgets, and places significant restrictions on businesses that are dominant in their relevant markets.
Specific measures to tame the power of big corporations include:
- strengthening the legal standard for clearing a merger (i.e., the bill amends the Clayton Act to forbid mergers that “create an appreciable risk of materially lessening competition” rather than mergers that “substantially lessen competition”);
- shifting the burden of proof that the merger does not risk harming consumers or competition on the merging parties;
- clarifying that market definition is not required to challenge a merger when there is direct proof of market power;
- prohibiting conduct that would put competitors at a disadvantage (i.e., changes an important antitrust principle–from “harm to competition” to a “materially disadvantages competitor” standard).
The bill also establishes an FTC division to conduct further research on markets and mergers.
Learn more about how market power harms our democracy.