Biden Executive Order and Policy Shifts Herald Era of Expanded Antitrust Enforcement

Administration signals greater competition enforcement that could imperil past mergers, impose new reporting obligations, and broadly targets technology, healthcare, and banking sectors.

The White House announced its antitrust priorities on Friday, July 9, in a broad executive order designed to address shortcomings the Biden Administration has identified in the last 40 years of antitrust enforcement. On Monday, July 12, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan announced plans for an upcoming FTC meeting in which the Commission will consider rescinding a 25-year-old policy statement that governs the reportability of future mergers by settling companies. The Executive Order follows a flurry of activity at the FTC since Chairman Khan’s confirmation on June 15, which collectively embrace several popular and bipartisan issues, while also seeking to firmly imprint the progressive critique of recent antitrust enforcement. These changes will further expand antitrust scrutiny going forward, consistent with changes practitioners are already seeing at the antitrust agencies.

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