The Consumer Welfare Standard, 40 Years Old & Under Fire

By Bryan Koenig (January 25, 2019, 6:51 PM EST) -- Should a challenge to a merger or anti-competitive conduct be about more than just the end impact on consumers and the prices they pay?

The debate among government officials and academics over the so-called "consumer welfare standard" and whether it's time to broaden what factors are considered has intensified in recent years. One surprising forum for that question is an ongoing series of public hearings on the state of antitrust enforcement being conducted by the Republican-controlled Federal Trade Commission, which has welcomed the intense debate on the standard — an unexpected move for regulators appointed by a GOP administration.

Left-leaning antitrust...

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