In testimony today before House Subcommittee on Courts and Competition, American Antitrust Institute President Bert Foer called on Congress to create a new position within the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Antitrust Division to protect competition policy during the recession, including during emergency consolidation situations.
The AAI’s testimony included a proposal for a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Emergency Restructuring. The position, which would be approved by the Senate and report to the Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, should have the articulated mission of participating in all aspects of national policy relating not only to financial institutions and their regulation, but also to all other components of financial recovery planning and legislation that may impact competition.
“If we care about preserving a competitive economy in the long run, we need today an authoritative voice for competition policy at the negotiating table in order to assure that we do not go down a road of permanent consolidation except where it is absolutely necessary to do so,” said Foer.
In his testimony, Foer urged Congress to continuously consider competition policy concerns, as they are especially at risk during a recession. He also advocated that Congress create legislation that will give the government an opportunity to stop the formation of new organizations that are “too big to fail” – referring to large organizations that are so deeply embedded in the U.S. economy that their failure is likely to have ripple effects that are politically and economically unacceptable.
Foer’s complete testimony is available for download here.