Yesterday, Public Knowledge filed comments in response to the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice’s request seeking comment on draft merger guidelines as the agencies work to modernize antitrust law enforcement. The horizontal merger guidelines were last updated in 2010. Public Knowledge previously filed comments with the FTC on vertical merger guidelines that were last updated in 2020 and withdrawn in 2021, followed by comments with both the FTC and DOJ on updating the merger guidelines in 2022. The agency’s new merger guidelines would replace both the vertical and horizontal guidelines previously published.
The comments highlight the proposed guidelines’ approach to vertical mergers and the special features of dominant digital platforms. The comments applaud the use of structural presumptions in vertical mergers; the integration of the incipiency standard into merger analysis; the explanation of the competitive dynamics of multi-sided platforms; and the importance of protecting nascent competition. Public Knowledge looks forward to more effective merger enforcement in the future.
The following can be attributed to Charlotte Slaiman, Vice President of Public Knowledge:
“These proposed guidelines are a powerful step forward for the nation’s antitrust enforcement agencies. These guidelines much more accurately reflect our modern understanding of the economics of industrial organizations than prior guidelines. The new guidelines can streamline enforcement against anti-competitive mergers and improve the courts’ and the public’s understanding and decision-making. As experts in the antitrust enforcement agencies continue their important work of incorporating stakeholder feedback, they should continue to prioritize strong and efficient enforcement. These guidelines support key improvements to the interpretation of antitrust law and economics that we have been advocating for for years.”
You may view the comments for more information.
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