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New Research Study Finds by Abandoning the Consumer Welfare Standard, Senate Antitrust Bill Could Raise Costs and Prices by Tens of Billions of Dollars, Study Finds

Increasing the FTC Budget by $300 Million a Year Would Facilitate the Biden Agenda of Reregulating American Industries

WASHINGTON, DC (September 29, 2022) — A new Committee to Unleash Prosperity study entitled Antitrust Bill Would Cost Consumers Tens of Billions of Dollars in Higher Prices and Lower Productivity from famed economist Arthur Laffer with Stephen Moore concludes that by changing the legal standards of monopoly and antitrust actions, the Klobuchar would stifle innovation, business startups and American competitiveness. The Klobuchar bill would eliminate the traditional “consumer welfare standard” of antitrust law and instead take legal actions against mergers and acquisitions that would harm competitors – many of which are not even U.S.-based companies.

According to Dr. Laffer: “Traditional antitrust law presupposes that market power and concentration always leads to higher prices, but in many industries—particularly the technology sector of the economy—dominant players have tended to lower prices for consumers.” He adds, “It should be well accepted that if a company is not acting in a way that is harming consumers, then its dominant position should not be regulated or penalized by the government.” As a result of this law, fewer American companies will be started and fewer will reach a stage of profitability because of highly questionable antitrust concerns. China and other of our foreign rivals will benefit the most, the study concludes, while American consumers will be the biggest losers.

Instead of building better products to make themselves more competitive, companies will rush to the government and to the courts to cut down their more efficient rivals. As an example of the absurdity of this new antitrust doctrine, the FTC is now trying to prevent Google from acquiring an app for physical fitness—even though the fitness industry is one of the most fiercely competitive markets in America.

One of the worst features of the bill according to the Klobuchar bill is the provision that would empower the FTC – one of the most intrusive of federal regulatory agencies – with a budget increase of nearly $300 million a year. These resources would enable the FTC to challenge nearly every major merger and acquisition that is proposed between American companies. This would run contrary to the free market agenda of deregulation central to a prosperous economy. Nothing good can come from hiring thousands of additional regulators to snoop on business.
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