Today the American Antitrust Institute (AAI), Food & Water Watch (FWW), and National Farmers Union (NFU) sent a joint letter to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on the proposed merger between agricultural input giants Bayer AG and Monsanto Co. The three groups offered their in-depth analysis of how the proposed deal would likely harm competition, farmers, and consumers. The letter notes that the merger would complete a sweeping restructuring of the agricultural biotechnology industry, creating the “Big 3” companies where just two years ago, there were six major rivals.
For almost three decades, light-handed enforcement of the U.S. antitrust laws tilted the scales toward allowing consolidation and strategic conduct that was thought to enhance “efficiency.” Justifications for this approach ranged from forcing down costs, to promoting quality control and spurring investment in R&D by large deep-pocketed firms. Over-enforcement was the bogeyman of conservative ideology. Too-vigorous application of the laws threatened to stifle the efficiencies that were expected to flow from mergers and restraints on competition.
Today, the Chairman of the American Antitrust Institute (AAI) Board of Directors, Pamela Gilbert, announced the addition of W. Joseph Bruckner to the Board. “Joe’s decades of leadership in the antitrust bar and his thoughtful and collaborative approach to decision-making will be tremendous assets to AAI,” said Gilbert. “We are thrilled to have him join our Board.”
The Georgetown University Center for Business and Public Policy and Compass Lexecon co-hosted a conference on airline competition on July 17, 2017. Among the issues discussed was antitrust immunity for members of the international airline alliances. Moss’s comments drew on previous empirical work on the costs and benefits of immunity.
On June 21, 2017, the American Antitrust Institute hosted its 18th Annual Conference.