Last week we shared with you news about the Democratic Party’s plan in the US to revamp antitrust law and include considerations other than consumer welfare in the analysis of cases (e.g. wage stagnation due to increased comcentration). This post by Alden Abbott says it’s all nonsense. On the other hand, this Vox article takes a more favorable view: https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/7/31/16021844/antitrust-better-deal. The US debate will definitely have global repercussions and we’re sure there’s still more to be said. We will keep you updated.
On July 24, as part of their newly-announced “Better Deal” campaign, congressional Democrats released an antitrust proposal (“Better Deal Antitrust Proposal” or BDAP) entitled “Cracking Down on Corporate Monopolies and the Abuse of Economic and Political Power.” Unfortunately, this antitrust tract is really an “Old Deal” screed that rehashes long-discredited ideas about “bigness is badness” and “corporate abuses,” untethered from serious economic analysis. (In spirit it echoes the proposal for a renewed emphasis on “fairness” in antitrust made by then Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse in 2016 – a recommendation that ran counter to sound economics, as I explained in a September 2016 Truth on the Market commentary.) Implementation of the BDAP’s recommendations would be a “worse deal” for American consumers and for American economic vitality and growth.
The BDAP’s Portrayal of the State of Antitrust Enforcement is Factually Inaccurate, and it Ignores the Real Problems of…
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