Moss Says Sending Media Mergers to Different Agencies Runs Risk of Less Coherent Enforcement Policy

In the New Business Herald’s January 24 article “Will Biden’s Antitrust Team Slow the Media Merger Frenzy?” AAI President Diana Moss questioned the efficacy of dividing merger reviews between the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division.

From the article:

Diana Moss, president of the nonprofit advocacy group American Antitrust Institute, said it’s been long past time for the two government agencies to not just rubber-stamp deals. “What we see from the Biden enforcers is a lot of signaling that they are willing to be more aggressive,” Moss said. “They are willing to take that risk that is necessary to get stronger enforcement and start unwinding the damage from 40 years of consolidation.”

Moss also challenged the current practice of having the two agencies split up which mergers are reviewed. (For example, the Justice Department is leading the review on Discovery and WarnerMedia’s $43 billion deal, as well as CAA’s acquisition of ICM Partners — while the FTC is reviewing Amazon’s $8 billion takeover of MGM.)

“These deals are going to be cleared through different agencies,” Moss said. “Splitting up the supply chain, by sending different mergers to different agencies for review, runs the risk of not having a sector-wide coherent enforcement policy. That is vitally important because of how much consolidation there has been.”