The Klobuchar Antitrust Bill Is Corporate Welfare that Will Harm Consumers
Antitrust legislation proposed by Senator Amy Klobuchar, combined with regulatory actions taken by the Federal Trade Commission, are an attempt to redefine the core doctrine of antitrust law. The justification for government taking antitrust action against large companies with “monopoly power” was originally that firms with market concentration can limit competition and raise prices, which can harm consumers.
This is called the “consumer welfare standard” of antitrust law. But modern-day global competition and rapid technological innovation dramatically lower consumer prices over time, which calls into question whether antiquated antitrust law actions are even necessary. 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.
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.