CDT submitted comments on the draft update from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to their Merger Guidelines, which explain how the agencies assess mergers and acquisitions under the antitrust laws. CDT noted that the draft makes significant updates and improvements to reflect developments in the economy and in our economic understanding since the Guidelines were last updated in 2010.
For CDT, the most significant updates address challenges to competition posed by the increasing presence and importance of digital platforms for commerce and communication – a topic not even mentioned in the 2010 Guidelines.
We highlight parts of the draft that are particularly important and useful for the digital marketplace, as well as for the broader economy. We offer suggestions – in our comments and a redline-edited version of the draft – for making these parts even stronger and clearer in keeping with the Guidelines’ dual purposes.
- First, providing meaningful guidance to lawyers, economists, and courts who will be dealing with specific mergers and acquisitions.
- Second, for the broader public – including policymakers, academics, news media, public interest advocates, businesses, suppliers, workers, and consumers – how merger enforcement under the antitrust laws protects competition and the many benefits it provides in undergirding economic liberty and a free society.