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Klobuchar Presents New Antitrust Bill

 |  March 11, 2020

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Democrat – Minnesota), ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, has introduced a bill that could give antitrust authorities more tools to pursue potentially anticompetitive edge giants, including by fining them up to 15% of revenues for violations. 

The bill, The Anticompetitive Exclusionary Conduct Prevention Act, would “deter anticompetitive abuses that distort the competitive process and harm consumers, innovation, and new business formation.” 

Currently, the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission are investigating situations where large online companies like Google or Facebook buy up smaller potential competitors and whether current antitrust law captures that as potential exclusionary conduct given that the companies being bought are too small to raise anticompetitive red flags at the time of purchase.

“We have a major monopoly problem in this country, which harms consumers and threatens free and fair competition across our economy,” said Klobuchar of the bill. “Companies need to be put on notice that exclusionary behavior that threatens competition cannot continue. Our legislation will deter anticompetitive abuses, helping to protect the competitive markets that are critical to ensuring fair prices for products and services, spurring innovation, and preserving opportunity for American entrepreneurs.”

She cited online commerce as well as pharmaceuticals and agriculture when talking about “harmful exclusionary practices by powerful companies [that] threaten free and fair competition, as decades of federal court decisions have chilled enforcement under existing laws.”