CCIA’s Statement As Progressive Democrats Release Broader Anti-Merger Legislation

BY Heather Greenfield
March 16, 2022

Washington – Several Democrats have introduced legislation today that would preemptively block many mergers and acquisitions, in particular in the tech industry. According to news reports, the Prohibiting Anticompetitive Mergers Act would completely overhaul the review process of mergers and acquisitions by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission. 

The proposal would allow the DOJ and FTC to automatically block transactions worth more than $5 billion or those leading to high market shares without judicial oversight. In addition, the FTC and DOJ could retroactively reverse certain mergers if they lead to a greater than 50 percent market share based on after-the-fact agency determinations. Court challenges of automatically blocked mergers would only be allowed if the reviewing agency acted in an “arbitrary or capricious” manner.   

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, an international not for profit tech trade association, has advocated for competition in the tech industry for 50 years.

The following can be attributed CCIA President Matt Schruers: 

“This preemptive ban on mergers over an arbitrary size would harm both competition and consumers. Instead of enforcers continuing to evaluate transactions based upon whether they would substantially lessen competition, the bill would arbitrarily prohibit transactions that can bring significant benefits to consumers and the economy. This approach is ill-advised as it would eliminate judicial checks and balances that courts provide to ensure the merger review process remains apolitical.

“The bill erodes the authority of enforcement experts that already have the authority to unwind  transactions when necessary. 

“Instead of arbitrarily barring certain transactions, Congress should instead provide the resources necessary for the FTC and DOJ to do the job they are charged with: protecting competition and consumers.”

Related Articles

CCIA Provides Remarks in Support of Maintaining Flexible, Adaptable Merger Guidelines at FTC-DOJ Listening Forum

May 18, 2022

Washington – As part of a broader series on the impact of mergers and acquisitions, the Federal Trade Commision (FTC) and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) last week hosted a public listening forum on merger control with a focus on the technology industry. After submitting comments to the FTC and DOJ’s…

Groups Call on Congress to Address Concerns over Economic Harms of Proposed Antitrust Bills

Apr 27, 2022

Washington – A dozen organizations have penned a joint letter to lawmakers Wednesday to express concerns over the economic harms that proposed antitrust legislation will have on American consumers and businesses of all sizes. The broad, diverse, and bipartisan array of signatories includes the Council and the Computer & Communications Industry Association, TechNet, the Small…

CCIA Offers Comments in Response to the FTC and DOJ’s Request for Information on Merger Enforcement

Apr 20, 2022

Washington – The Computer & Communications Industry Association told the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice that the current merger guidelines provide clear practical guidance on when a transaction is likely to raise competition concerns, and that creating sector specific rules would lead to more confusion for companies and courts. The comments filed today…