Washington, DC – The American Edge Project (AEP) today released a comprehensive study authored by leading antitrust expert Koren Wong-Ervin analyzing several pieces of antitrust legislation currently being considered by Congress.
The report – Reform or Regress? An Assessment of Proposed Antitrust Legislation – finds that the antitrust proposals would likely have a sweeping, and largely negative impact on the United States. Specifically, the proposals risk undermining innovation, slowing economic growth, hurting American consumers and having a chilling effect on startup formation and growth.
Wong-Ervin highlighted the following dangers of antitrust legislation currently before Congress:
- In evaluating the economic basis for regulation, Wong-Ervin finds a significant lack of reliable evidence that the United States has a problem of systematic underenforcement of mergers and acquisitions resulting in harm to consumers and competition.
- The proposals fly in the face of modern economic studies, which indicate that companies help consumers when they bundle services and integrate vertically, a practice which has been shown to lower costs of key goods and services for consumers.
- The proposals would reverse decades of Supreme Court precedent and introduce significant uncertainty through new and untested standards, likely chilling vigorous competition and slowing down innovation.
- The proposals would strip away many of the incentives that drive venture capital success, which has served as an integral engine of American innovation and economic growth over the past several decades.
“In short, calls to dramatically reform U.S. antitrust law risk sacrificing the benefits to consumers from beneficial conduct like vertical integration and vertical restraints. Enacting sweeping legislation based on false or misleading premises will fundamentally threaten America’s ability to compete, innovate, and maintain our global technology leadership role,” writes Wong-Ervin on page two of the report.
“Innovation is the lifeblood of our economy and an indispensable driving force behind our national economic strength and prosperity. This new report paints a clear and disturbing picture. The antitrust proposals currently before Congress pose a direct threat to America’s capacity for innovation and growth.” said Doug Kelly, CEO of American Edge. “If implemented, these pieces of legislation will hurt our economy, weaken small businesses, undermine startup growth, and undermine local innovation ecosystems, all while handing a permanent advantage to China. We are in the midst of a high-stakes, global competition to maintain our leadership position in technological innovation. Instead of targeting U.S. tech and undermining our brightest innovators, Congress should be working to promote domestic innovation and check China’s global ambitions.”
KOREN WONG-ERVIN is a recognized thought leader and has testified before Congress on domestic and international antitrust issues. She has more than eighteen years of experience, including representing defendants and plaintiffs in high-stakes litigations and representing technology companies in domestic and foreign investigations. Koren previously served at the Federal Trade Commission as an Attorney Advisor to Commissioner Joshua Wright and Counsel for Intellectual Property and International Antitrust. Koren’s scholarship has been cited by courts and the Department of Justice. She has authored over sixty articles, including on vertical mergers and restraints, acquisitions of potential competitors, consummated mergers, multisided platforms, the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property, incremental innovations or “product hopping,” optimal penalties, extraterritoriality, methodologies for calculating patent infringement damages, and international due process and convergence. Koren has also trained approximately 500 foreign judges and competition enforcers on antitrust law and economics, and spoken at over 150 domestic and international events.
THE AMERICAN EDGE PROJECT is a coalition of domestic organizations representing a cross-section of U.S. innovators who are dedicated to telling the story about technology’s positive influence on America’s economy and the vital role innovation plays in our society. Former New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, former U.S. Representative Chris Carney, and former Federal Election Commission Chairman Bradley A. Smith are directors of the American Edge Project. AEP’s National Security Advisory Board is comprised of Former White House Counterterrorism and Homeland Security Advisor Frances Townsend; retired four-star General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., United States Marine Corps (USMC), who served as former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and former Acting Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Michael J. Morell. Former U.S. Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Kent Conrad (D-ND) serve as Co-Chairs of the Project’s Economic Advisory Board. Former U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) and former U.S. Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) serve as Co-Chairs of the Project’s Open & Accessible Internet Advisory Board. Visit AmericanEdgeProject.org for more information.