Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) throughout Lawyer Normal nominee Merrick Garland’s affirmation listening to earlier than the Senate Judiciary Committee, Washington, DC, February 22, 2021.
Demetrius Freeman | Pool | Reuters
Republican Senators Mike Lee and Chuck Grassley launched a invoice that may transfer all antitrust enforcement to the Justice Division, stripping the Federal Commerce Fee and Federal Communications Fee of antitrust authority, Lee’s workplace stated on Monday.
The Justice Division’s Antitrust Division and the FTC at present divide up the work of antitrust enforcement, with the FCC weighing in on telecommunications offers.
There is no such thing as a companion laws within the Democratic-led U.S. Home of Representatives. Democrats management the evenly divided Senate due to Vice President Kamala Harris’ tie-breaking vote.
The measure, launched by Grassley, the highest Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Lee, the highest Republican on the committee’s antitrust panel, would additionally ban any merger that ends in a market share of greater than 66 p.c until wanted to stop “severe hurt” to the U.S. economic system, in accordance with a abstract.
Lee stated that the invoice – which has a protracted checklist of components – would handle issues past Large Tech, which has been the main focus of different laws.
“We’d like a holistic method that offers with all of those issues, and that advantages all customers, in each business – with out massively rising regulation and imposing a command-and-control grip over the economic system,” he stated in an announcement.
The invoice would improve the finances of the Justice Division’s Antitrust Division to $600 million. That’s sharply larger than the Biden administration proposal for the subsequent fiscal yr that may give the FTC $389.8 million and the Antitrust Division $201 million.
The measure would additionally increase charges charged by the federal government to evaluate whether or not the biggest mergers are authorized beneath antitrust regulation.
It could additionally prohibit the federal authorities from awarding contracts to corporations that violated antitrust legal guidelines within the earlier 5 years.