Public Knowledge Urges FTC, DOJ To Apply Special Scrutiny to Big Tech Mergers in New Guidelines

Public Knowledge filed comments on merger guidelines as both the FTC and DOJ work to modernize antitrust law enforcement.

Yesterday, Public Knowledge filed comments in response to the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice’s Request for Information seeking comment on 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 in 2020. The agency’s new merger guidelines would replace both the vertical and horizontal guidelines previously published.

The comments highlight several unique features of dominant digital platforms and urge special scrutiny for mergers in the space. The comments call for a focus on protecting potential and nascent competition as well as the importance of presumptions for efficient use of enforcement resources and predictability. Public Knowledge looks forward to the publication of new draft guidelines incorporating public interest feedback and more effective merger enforcement in the future.

The following can be attributed to Alex Petros, Policy Counsel at Public Knowledge:

“We applaud the FTC and DOJ for realizing that so much has changed since 2010 and it’s time to update the merger guidelines. If the agencies take our recommendations, we can expect clear, commonsense rules and presumptions that will foster markets where competition can thrive. We all benefit from rigorous and fulsome antitrust enforcement—honest businesses get the clarity they need to compete; agencies can focus on the most competitively troubling mergers; and consumers get the low prices and high-quality services that are a hallmark of competitive markets.”

You may view the comments for more information.

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