Veazy III: Greater antitrust enforcement
U.S. Justice Department’s Antitrust Policy Director David Lawrence was keynote speaker at Bringham Young University Law Conference on “Tech Platforms in a New Age of Competition” in Provo, Utah on Oct. 21.. (1)
Here is some of what he said to the audience:
“We saw critical antitrust legislation pass the House of Representatives last month …. This was a truly remarkable moment. The floor vote on the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act passed by a remarkable margin of 242-184. We have learned that a strong majority supports more aggressive and effective antitrust enforcement.
“The root cause of the desire for greater antitrust enforcement is the dissatisfaction felt by many millions of Americans with a rise in corporate power and a corresponding reduction in their economic liberty. Congress is responding, and the Department of Justice has indicated its strong support passing the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act and the American Innovation and Choice Act in this Congress. We hope to see reforms passed into law soon.
“There is now wide-spread agreement that we should be concerned about digital markets. The digital economy has enabled monopoly power of a nature and degree not seen in a century.
“Without competition to deliver ready access to the connections we seek, we are forced to pay with our time in endless scrolls. Algorithms manipulate our psychology to shape our minds and our behavior, without competition for them to do so responsibly. Market power in digital markets contribute to its preservation in new and important ways …. They are built on interconnection … that provides many opportunities to influence businesses in adjacent markets to reinforce that power …. A gatekeeper platform provides a new kind of power, largely unseen before, to shape the development of an ecosystem toward the preservation of that power.
“We in the antitrust community play a unique role …. Debates like we are having today will help us build the new bipartisan antitrust consensus …. I look forward to the debates and developments to come.”
(1) “Reemerging Areas of Common Ground” (Remarks), “Antitrust Division Policy Director David Lawrence Delivers Keynote at Bringham Young University Law Conference “Tech Platforms in a New Age of Competition Law”, Provo, Utah, Justice News, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, October 21.
Emzy Veazy III