Washington – The Computer & Communications Industry Association filed comments in response to the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s draft Merger Guidelines, released for comment in July.
The draft merger guidelines depart from established antitrust principles including the consumer welfare standard, and instead focus on structural presumptions and market concentration, with limited attention to merger efficiencies. The guidelines also lower the bar for what mergers would be presumptively illegal and base it on merger thresholds largely reflecting 1992 levels, and base their analysis on court decisions mostly dating from the 1970s and 1980s, disregarding more recent economic learning and case law.
CCIA has advocated for a competitive tech industry for more than 50 years.
The following can be attributed to CCIA Vice President for Global Competition and Regulatory Policy Krisztian Katona:
“We appreciate the need to periodically review and reexamine merger guidelines to ensure they reflect current practices, market realities, and economic thinking. Merger guidelines should be based on sound economic evidence and reflect actual merger review practice, instead of attempting to create new concepts. The proposed Guidelines’ approach and focus on outdated merger decisions ignores decades of recent case law that emphasizes economic analysis and consumer welfare. A key question for the Agencies is whether courts will accept this major departure from established economic learning and antitrust principles.”