Monday, October 6, 2008

American Antitrust Institute Issues Transition Report on Competition Policy

AAI Report: The American Antitrust Institute issued a 415-page report on Monday titled "The Next Antitrust Agenda: The American Antitrust Institute's Transition Report on Competition Policy to the 44th President of the United States."

The report offers suggestions to the next administration on legislation and enforcement priorities. It includes chapters about various substantive areas of antitrust laws, including cartels, monopoly, buyer power, and merger policy. For cartels, the report encourages consideration of "offering bounties to whistleblowers, as is already the case for qui tam civil suits," an idea that I have previously advocated here.

There are also chapters devoted to specific industries, including Agriculture, for which the report recommends increased enforcement of merger and conduct rules. Other industries addressed are media, health care, and energy.

Election May Affect Enforcement: How closely the next administration follows the recommendations will depend in part on which candidate prevails in the upcoming election. The Bush administration has been criticized for its lax enforcement of the antitrust laws, and Senator McCain has a long record of support for deregulation.

In its October issue, Inside Counsel examined what the 2008 election means to the in-house bar. While Republicans tend to favor imposing more limitations on the potential liability of corporate defendants who have engaged in tortious activity than Democrats, the magazine suggested that neither Senator McCain nor Senator Obama will take strong positions on the issue, and that Obama may favor corporate defendants more than most Democrats.

Related posts: Incentives and Disincentives for Insiders to Expose Unlawful Cartels; Considerations for Individuals Who Refuse to Participate in Illegal Business Practices.


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