Biden’s Antitrust Chiefs Seek Funds for Strong Enforcement
By Anna Edgerton and Leah Nylen | Bloomberg
via The Washington Post - September 21, 2022
The Biden administration’s top antitrust enforcers asked Congress for more money to continue their ambitious enforcement strategy, telling a Senate panel that they’re “outgunned” by the legal power wielded by giant corporations.
During a Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee oversight hearing on Tuesday, Jonathan Kanter, the assistant attorney general for antitrust, said the Justice Department would litigate more mergers this year than any fiscal year on record and remains “committed to bringing difficult cases.”
Kanter’s testimony came the day after a federal judge rejected the department’s bid to block UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s $7.8 billion acquisition of Change Healthcare Inc., dealing a blow to the division’s aggressive agenda.
“While I am proud of the work we are doing, we lack the resources to fully address these challenges,” Kanter said, pointing out that the antitrust division has 350 fewer people today than it did in 1979.
Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan said in its monopolization case against Meta Platforms Inc., the commission is “outgunned one to 10.”
Khan said vigorous antitrust enforcement is critical to economic growth, adding that that when industries become more consolidated, “prices rise, wages fall, and our markets become more fragile and less resilient.”
She said that the agency has had “significant success with at least six mergers being abandoned due to an FTC lawsuit.”
The abandoned deals include...