Raise the threshold for mergers and acquisitions of technology giants! U.S. Senate announces antitrust enforcement reform proposal

The new head of the U.S. Senate’s Antitrust Subcommittee and Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, on Thursday (February 4) proposed drastic changes to the U.S. antitrust law.

The Congress, newly controlled by the Democratic Party, began to emphasize the monopoly of technology and other industries.

According to a draft from Klobuchar’s office, the senator plans to introduce legislation to prohibit acquisitions by companies that dominate his industry unless they can prove that their transactions do not “create a clear risk of significantly reducing competition.”. Currently, the job of proving that a merger has significantly reduced competition falls on the government.

These proposals may face resistance, and Republicans do not support this proposal. And companies, including large technology companies, are expected to oppose major changes to the antitrust law.

Klobuchar’s bill will seek to strengthen antitrust enforcement in the following ways:

·  Raise the threshold for leading companies seeking to merge with other companies, including transferring the burden of proof to the merging party.

· The  “Clayton Act” added an “exclusive behaviour” prohibition to make it more difficult for dominant companies to prove that their merger will not harm competition.

Increase the annual budget authorizations of the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission by $300 million to enforce antitrust laws.

·  Allow anti-monopoly law enforcement officers to seek civil penalties for crimes of violating the Monopoly Law and exclusive acts caused by the Act.

·  Establish an independent competition advocate office within the Federal Trade Commission that can conduct market analysis to inform law enforcement officials and pay attention to consumer complaints.

·  Require the merged company to update its transaction results to the regulator and require the regulator to study the impact of the merger.

·  Extend whistleblower incentives to those who report potential civil infringements.

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