AAI and Cohen Milstein Announce Winner of Jerry S. Cohen Award for Antitrust Scholarship – Best Student Antitrust Article of 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In recognition of her outstanding contribution to antitrust scholarship, Eileen Li, J.D., a 2023 graduate of Columbia Law School, has been selected as the winner of the Jerry S. Cohen Memorial Fund Writing Award – Best Student Antitrust Article of 2022 – for her article Merger Review 2.0: Infusing CFIUS’s “Critical Technologies” Approach Into Antitrust Oversight Of Nascent Tech Acquisitions, 122 Colum. L. Rev. 1691.

The award will be presented during the American Antitrust Institute’s 17th Annual Private Antitrust Enforcement Conference on Thursday, November 2, 2023, recognizing outstanding achievements in the antitrust community across a variety of contributions and categories at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Li’s article, Merger Review 2.0: Infusing CFIUS’s “Critical Technologies” Approach Into Antitrust Oversight Of Nascent Tech Acquisitions, addresses the subject of nascent tech acquisitions, which have been the subject of renewed regulatory and antitrust scrutiny in recent years. These acquisitions can often be very small—hundreds of tech deals have occurred in the past decade below the current reporting threshold of $101 million—and the current merger review process of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) often fails to capture the harms unique to these early-stage deals.

Li’s article argues that the FTC should look to another government agency—the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS)—and learn from their experience reviewing very small but sensitive tech deals. CFIUS examines all foreign investment into companies that control technologies that may be sensitive for U.S. national security, focusing over the past few years on Chinese investment into U.S. start-ups as an area of concern. The article examines the resources and renewed mission CFIUS received from Congress through the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act of 2018 (FIRRMA) and argues that the FTC merger process can undergo a similar overhaul. Specifically, the article lays out the arguments for the creation of a CFIUS-style critical technologies pilot program run by the FTC, which would allow the antitrust enforcement agency to orient its mission toward addressing emerging technological markets.

About the Award

The Jerry S. Cohen Memorial Fund Writing Award was created through a trust established in memory of Jerry S. Cohen, an outstanding trial lawyer and antitrust scholar. The award is administered by the law firm he founded, Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC.

The award honors the best antitrust writing published during the prior year that is consistent with the values that animated Jerry S. Cohen’s professional life – a genuine concern for economic justice, the dispersal of economic power, effective limitations upon economic power, and the vigorous enforcement of the antitrust laws.

About Cohen Milstein

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC is a premier U.S. plaintiffs’ law firm, handling high-profile and often precedent-setting litigation. With over 100 attorneys across the country, Cohen Milstein has offices in Washington, DC, Chicago, IL, New York, NY, Palm Beach Gardens, FL, Philadelphia, PA, Raleigh, NC, Boston, MA and Minneapolis, MN. For more information, visit www.cohenmilstein.com or call 202.408.4600.

About the American Antitrust Institute

The American Antitrust Institute (AAI) is an independent, nonprofit organization devoted to promoting competition that protects consumers, businesses, and society. AAI serves the public through research, education, and advocacy on the benefits of competition and the use of antitrust enforcement as a vital component of national and international competition policy. For more information, visit www.antitrustinstitute.org  or call (202) 828-1226.