Today, the White House announced the nomination of Makan Delrahim to serve as Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ). The nomination is the first of two appointments that will likely determine the path of antitrust enforcement during the Trump administration. The nominee for the Chair of the Federal Trade Commission has yet to be announced.
On June 21, the American Antitrust Institute will host its 18th Annual Conference. This year’s event will take up the important topic: The Value of Antitrust. The change in administration is an opportune time to take stock of why and how antitrust remains a central policy tool for promoting a market economy, competition, innovation, and consumer benefits. Growing concerns over declining competition, slowing rates of market entry, and inequality gaps have put antitrust into the spotlight. Mounting economic evidence on the effects of past mergers, efficiencies, and remedies has given competition enforcers and proponents of fair competition reasons to be more vigilant in scrutinizing further consolidation and potentially anticompetitive behavior.
The American Antitrust Institute joined with numerous consumer groups to file an amicus brief urging the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to affirm the district court decision blocking the merger of Anthem and Cigna Corp. The proposed merger would be the largest in the history of the health insurance industry, combining two of the four national carriers. The AAI has been at the forefront of efforts to block the merger, which the district court found would substantially lessen competition, raise prices, and reduce innovation.
The American Antitrust Institute seeks to preserve the effectiveness of antitrust class actions as a central component of ensuring the vitality of private antitrust enforcement. As part of its efforts, AAI issues periodic updates on developments in the courts and elsewhere that may affect this important device for protecting competition and consumers. This update covers developments since November 2016.
Today, the American Antitrust Institute (AAI) released the cartel chapter of its forthcoming Transition Report on Competition Policy to the 45th President of the United States. The chapter is entitled American Cartel Enforcement in Our Global Era. This release is part of a series of previews in which the AAI will make select chapters of the transition report available for download in advance of the report’s publication.