The Economic Standard: FTC Decision Makes Consumers the Big Losers

To retitle the familiar song by Prince, it now appears the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is going to “party like it’s 1914.” The well-known consumer welfare standard – the principle that has focused antitrust enforcement onto whether consumers are harmed – is getting shelved by the FTC (“FTC Votes to Broaden Enforcement Power, WSJ, July […]

Real Clear Policy: Antitrust Bill Will Undermine Competition and Consumer Choice

The introduction of the EPM Act is just another sign that legislators in Washington fail to understand the competitive nature of the tech marketplace and that the scope of antitrust law should always prioritize consumer welfare. Prohibiting tech companies from engaging in new lines of business, and thereby undermining competition and the incentive to innovate, […]

Antitrust Explainer

A package of five bills is set to be introduced by Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee. These bills seek to fundamentally change how the federal government approaches big tech and are being released at a time when Republicans and Democrats seek to reign in big tech and its influence. Rather than employing the consumer […]

Consumer Impact Must Remain the Focus for Mergers and Acquisitions

It seems that each week, self-proclaimed trustbusters on Capitol Hill line up to attack big tech for alleged antitrust violations. Back in the firing line this week is Amazon after the company announced it was purchasing Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) Studios for $8.45 billion. If the deal goes ahead, it would be the “second-largest acquisition in Amazon’s […]

The Economic Standard: Washington’s New General in Its Antitrust War

Shortly after entering office in January 2021, President Joe Biden announced the nomination of Lina Kahn to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Responding to the announcement, the FTC’s Chairwoman Rebecca Kelly Slaughter stated, “her creative energy, groundbreaking antitrust work, and passion for the FTC’s mission make her an excellent nominee.” Should the U.S. Senate confirm her, Kahn will join […]

New Podcast Episode: Antitrust, the Consumer Welfare Standard, and Big Tech

The Consumer Welfare Standard (CWS) has been the bedrock of U.S. antitrust law for the past several decades. Today, there seems to be a bipartisan consensus that Washington should act to rein in big tech’s perceived power. In supporting antitrust actions against big tech, policymakers on both the left and right are trying to delegitimize […]

Why the Consumer Welfare Standard Must Remain the Bedrock of U.S. Antitrust Law

Antitrust rarely dominates political discourse. Yet, it has recently become an issue that holds bipartisan support and has entered mainstream political conversations after a series of federal suits against Facebook, Google, and Visa. Additional antitrust suits are expected in 2021 as pressure ramps up on politicians and federal agencies to prosecute big tech for alleged […]

Coalition: Protect the Consumer Welfare Standard

Today, ACI joined a group of organizations and prominent scholars to warn Congress not to change the current consumer welfare standard for conducting antitrust enforcement. That standard tests whether consumers benefit or lose from changes in market efficiency, quality and price, and it is used to determine if antitrust actions are needed. Today’s coalition letter […]

Upcoming Webinar: Why We Need to Preserve the Consumer Welfare Standard in Antitrust Policy

Wednesday, October 21st — 12:00 to 12:30 (EST) Concerns that leading technology companies are too powerful and have too much market share, thus making them inherently dangerous and harmful to consumers, have led to growing calls to break up big tech companies and to abandon the long-standing consumer welfare standard for antitrust policy. Join the […]

Don’t Let Anti-‘Big Tech’ Sentiment Overturn Time-Tested Antitrust Standards

It is reasonable to question whether the consumer welfare standard has been adequately applied to Big Tech companies, and whether some of their practices may unfairly handicap potential competitors — though, for now, the evidence for that charge is thin. What is not productive is to advocate for a return to the “big is bad” […]