In this podcast episode, AAI President Diana Moss and Steven Salop, Professor Emeritus at Georgetown Law, take stock of the Biden antitrust agencies’ merger enforcement record. The antitrust chiefs at the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division were chosen specifically for their commitment to invigorating antitrust enforcement. As we head into the third year of the Biden administration, now is a good time to assess how the agencies are doing on merger control. Vigorous merger enforcement under Clayton Act Section 7 acts to prevent the emergence of oligopolies and dominant firms, serving as a first line of defense against the accumulation of market power that harms consumers and workers. Moss and Salop cover the ground on two major topics. They first unpack the recently released 2021 merger statistics. While one year of data does not reveal much about longer-term trends in merger enforcement under the Biden agencies, it does shed light on what to watch for moving forward. Their conversation then turns to issue spotting, or what is likely to unfold for merger control at the agencies based on what we have seen under the Biden enforcers thus far.
Diana Moss, President, American Antitrust Institute
Steven C. Salop is Professor Emeritus at Georgetown Law. His research focuses on antitrust law and economics and the economic analysis of industrial competition and imperfect information. Professor Salop’s recent writings include articles that focus on exclusionary conduct, including the antitrust standard for exclusionary conduct, exclusionary conduct by buyers, and the antitrust standard for refusals to deal and price squeezes. He has other articles on the consumer welfare standard, raising rivals’ cost conduct, the first principles approach to antitrust, and vertical mergers. Before joining the Law Center faculty in 1981, he served at the Federal Trade Commission, the Civil Aeronautics Board, and the Federal Reserve Board.