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Today, American Antitrust Institute, Food & Water Watch, Iowa Farmers Union, Missouri Rural Crisis Center and National Farmers Union demanded that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) investigate the proposed JBS-Cargill pork packing acquisition. The proposed $1.45 billion acquisition would create the second largest pork processing company in the U.S. The groups are concerned that increased concentration in the pork packing industry would harm hog farmers and consumers.

From Bloomberg Business:  The $48.4 billion purchase of Cigna announced Friday morning would cut the number of major health insurers to three from five, making it challenging for Anthem and its rivals to win approval from the Justice Department, antitrust experts say.

“You’d have a massive reshuffling and increased concentration,” said Diana Moss, president of the American Antitrust Institute in Washington. “It’s more bottlenecking of the health-care supply chain, which we worry about already.”

In a brief one-page announcement, the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission  announced that he has circulated an order to the Commission calling for approval, with conditions that sacrifice competition for difficult-to-enforce regulation, of AT&T’s acquisition of rival DIRECTV. In an even shorter three-sentence statement, the head of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division announced that the acquisition would “not pose a significant risk to competition” and would not be opposed. 

Class actions play a critical role in the enforcement of the antitrust laws, ensuring that the private damages remedy serves its intended function of deterring antitrust violations and compensating victims.[1]  Indeed, a large swath of the harm inflicted by cartels would go unremedied (and hence undeterred) without class actions.  It is no secret that, for many years, the class-action device has been under assault from certain business groups, and that this assault has resulted in judicial decisions making class actions—antitrust and otherwise—more costly and difficult to bring.