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Biden Signs Antitrust Executive Order

 |  July 9, 2021

President Biden signed an executive order on Friday cracking down on what the White House says are anticompetitive practices among technology companies, labor and several other economic sectors.

“The heart of American capitalism is a simple idea: open and fair competition,” Mr. Biden said in remarks on Friday afternoon. “Capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism, it’s exploitation.”

Mr. Biden insisted that “competition works,” and had led to the U.S. becoming the “wealthiest and most innovative nation in history.” A White House fact sheet says the order to “promote competition in the American economy” will “lower prices for families, increase wages for workers, and promote innovation and even faster economic growth.”

The executive order establishes “a whole-of-government effort to promote competition in the American economy,” the fact sheet says. “The Order includes 72 initiatives by more than a dozen federal agencies to promptly tackle some of the most pressing competition problems across our economy.”

The wide-ranging order includes initiatives to ban or limit non-compete agreements, lower prescription drug prices, allow hearing aids to be sold over-the-counter, and make internet access more affordable by banning excessive early termination fees and ending landlord internet service provider exclusivity arrangements. It would also limit manufacturers from prohibiting self-repairs of their products, making it easier and cheaper to fix items, and require banks to allow customers to take their financial transaction data with them to a competitor.

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