Antitrust Enforcement In Second Obama Term to Remain a “Constant Challenge”

Despite President Obama’s reelection, competition policy experts remain skeptical that an appropriate level of antitrust enforcement can be reached in the next four years.

“Although we expect the White House to continue its policies of moderately strong enforcement of the antitrust laws, the institutions of antitrust will remain under attack and conservative courts will be a constant challenge,” said American Antitrust Institute (AAI) President Bert Foer at a post-election briefing hosted by the advocacy group today at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.

Foer emphasized that the AAI would continue to work with the Administration to ensure a vigorous role for antitrust is seen as essential for American consumers. “With President Obama’s victory, we can look toward four more years of working with an antitrust regime that treats us as an ally, keeps its door, open, recruits our people, and sometimes even appears to take our advice,” said Foer.

Politically astute observers from the antitrust community gathered to provide an overview of the November election outcome and its impact on the competition policy in the U.S. Speakers addressed potential changes to federal agencies' priorities and staffing, the effects Supreme Court appointments could have on antitrust, and likely changes to the congressional agenda.

Foer moderated a panel that included:

  • Pamela Gilbert, Partner, Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca; Legislative Counsel, Committee to Support the Antitrust Laws (COSAL)
  • Seth Bloom, General Counsel, Antitrust Subcommittee at U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee
  • Anant Raut, Election Coordinator, Obama for America - VA; former Counsel to the Committee on the Judiciary of the U.S. House of Representatives
  • George Slover, former Legislative Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee; former attorney-advisor for legal policy within the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division