Bright-Line Standards Are Bad News For Antitrust Reform

By Daniel Sokol and Abraham Wickelgren (June 15, 2021, 3:51 PM EDT) -- Senators from both the left and the right — Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn. and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., respectively — have introduced proposed legislation that would change legal presumptions regarding merger law and create bright-line market share thresholds.

The senators believe that merger policy is broken because of increasing concentration. However, their fix may have unanticipated consequences for innovation, product choice, and price and quality competition.

It would replace a system informed by decades of economic and legal thought based on careful analysis of the facts with one that would arbitrarily create preferred outcomes.

These proposed changes would also reverse a policy that...

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