Bipartisan coalition of 32 attorneys general applaud federal legislation to modernize antitrust enforcement and protect consumers
Sept. 20, 2021 (DENVER)—A bipartisan coalition of attorneys general from 30 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam today applauded legislative proposals to modernize federal antitrust laws.
In a letter sent to House and Senate leaders, the attorneys general urged them to continue making improvements to the antitrust laws via a range of bills moving through Congress, including the continued consideration of Ending Platform Monopolies Act, the American Choice and Innovation Online Act, the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act, the Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (“ACCESS”) Act, the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act, and the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act. They recommend the addition of provisions that would further protect consumers from unlawful and irresponsible mergers and business practices, and to facilitate competition and innovation.
“I applaud the effort to modernize the antitrust laws as a necessary step to promote competition and innovation,” said Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser. “Attorneys general across the country look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with Congress and share our experience and perspectives related to antitrust enforcement. Unfortunately, the courts have demonstrated a level of hostility to antitrust enforcement that is not grounded in the facts, sound economic learning, or the law, meaning that it is up to Congress to act and change the tide.”
The letter notes that updated legislation is required to respond to changes in technology, decreased competition in important sectors, and undue judicial skepticism towards robust antitrust enforcement, commending the antitrust bills as steps in the right direction.
The coalition, however, also urges Congress to update the proposed legislation to include provisions confirming that the states are sovereigns that stand on equal footing with federal enforcers under federal antitrust law, including with regard to the timing of challenging anticompetitive mergers and other practices.
The letter was led by Attorneys General Phil Weiser of Colorado, Douglas Peterson of Nebraska, Letitia James of New York, and Herbert H. Slatery III of Tennessee. They were joined by California, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.