Despite predictions that the new Congress will result in a dramatically changed climate for business, the American Antitrust Institute (AAI) predicts that the election will have relatively little impact on the enforcement of the nation's antitrust laws.
“Reasonably strong enforcement of the antitrust laws can be expected to continue to contribute to the reinvigoration of our economy over the years ahead,” said Bert Foer, president of the AAI.
Foer suggests five reasons why U.S. competition policy enforcement will stay its course following the election: (1) the appointees in charge of policy at both the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division are expected to remain in place; (2) their policies to date have been of a moderate nature, not breaking in substantial ways with previous administrations; (3) a bipartisan but conservative blue ribbon commission established by Congress recently concluded that major changes in the law are not needed; (4) enforcement by private plaintiffs will continue to account for more than 95 percent of antitrust cases; and (5) antitrust continues to serve the vast majority of businesses as well as consumers as a fundamental protection against anticompetitive practices.
Foer said, "There has long been and remains today a widespread bipartisan belief that cartels, monopolization, and anticompetitive mergers are bad for the economy, bad for most businesses, and harmful to consumers. There is no justification for relaxing antitrust enforcement in any way."