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US competition promoters begin overhaul of merger approval process

US competition promoters begin overhaul of merger approval process

On Tuesday, the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission launched a joint effort to modernize antitrust enforcement, including agencies that include existing laws against tech companies like Meta (Facebook's parent company) and Google. How can I implement So, asked to comment on it.

The announcement came at a joint news conference by FTC Chair Lena Khan and Justice Department antitrust chief Jonathan Kantor, who described the move as a broad enforcement modernization effort. While the announcement spreads across markets, it specifically questions how regulators should seek approval for mergers into digital markets, potentially setting new legal standards around data aggregation, interoperability and market consolidation that will reduce competition. will strengthen. can affect.

"The digital revolution has affected not only the markets of technology but the markets of our economy, many of which have been rebuilt from the inside out," Kantor said during Tuesday's press conference. "Just imagine what happens when you check your weather forecast or buy your morning coffee. In seconds, whether you see them or not, you interact with dozens of unique services; many of these services has the potential to harness and exploit market power."

Tuesday's announcement follows new plans in the Senate to move a pair of bills targeting tech giants such as Apple, Meta and Google. The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote Thursday on the American Innovation and Choice Online and Open App Market Acts -- bills that bar major platforms from abusing their market dominance, allow third-party app stores, and Protect software sideloading.

Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said, "This move toward the Judiciary Committee's approach shows strong bipartisan support for our Open App Market Act - to prevent Apple and Google from crushing competitors and undercutting consumers." “Breaking the iron grip of these two giants on the multi-billion dollar app market is long overdue. The measure has solid momentum. ,

Both known as staunch critics of technological consolidation, Kantor and Khan were confirmed their positions last year in what was a significant victory for progressives under the Biden administration. Prior to joining the DOJ, Kantor represented companies such as Yelp and Microsoft in antitrust lawsuits against Google. In 2017, Khan published a legal paper calling for new laws to curb anti-competitive behavior from marketplace platforms such as Amazon.

Last week, a federal judge said the FTC could move forward with an antitrust lawsuit against Meta, where the commission wants to open up its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp.

"We must be absolutely sure that our tools allow us to fully understand today's markets and the realities of how our markets operate," Cantor said on Tuesday.

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