Consumer Reports submitted comments on the proposed FTC-DOJ draft merger guidelines.
Over the last many decades there has been a clear trend of increasing market concentration and consolidation in multiple sectors of our economy. As a result, consumers often have fewer choices and leverage when shopping for a good deal. This is evident in online marketplaces but also true in other critical sectors, from agriculture to pharmaceuticals and healthcare. Consumer Reports welcomes the draft guidelines intent to strengthen merger enforcement and the updates to reflect new market realities.
We recommend the Agencies make more explicit in the Draft Guidelines the economic link between increasing market concentration and market power and state, within the framework the Agencies have set out when mergers may not ordinarily affect competition. In our view these clarifications will help make these guidelines more durable and increase their credibility by helping the Guidelines gain wider acceptance and minimizing the gap between stated policy and the Agencies’ ability to enforce against problematic mergers.