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AFP to Congress: Don’t Turn Antitrust Enforcement into a Political Spectacle

Jun 10, 2019 by AFP

Arlington, VA – On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee will convene for the first in a planned series of hearings to examine the state of competition in the tech industry. The hearing comes shortly after the full House Judiciary Committee launched a sweeping antitrust investigation that is expected to target major American tech companies.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) Senior Tech Policy Analyst Billy Easley issued the following statement:

“Antitrust enforcement requires a fact-specific, complex inquiry about a particular company in specific markets. This is why enforcement is handled by antitrust agencies and the courts rather than Congress. This broad Congressional inquiry can explore general principles of antitrust, but cannot and will not determine whether any particular company broke the law. As Congress pursues this inquiry, it should avoid creating a political platform for aggrieved industries and companies to complain about their competitors. The ultimate goal of antitrust is protecting the competitive process, and its success is measured by improving consumer welfare. Antitrust harms consumers and competition when used as an excuse to protect companies from legitimate competition or to punish a company for size or success.”

As part of a broader effort to protect the future of American innovation, Americans for Prosperity opposes abusive antitrust enforcement. Antitrust laws – one of the most powerful government tools – should be used to protect Americans against instances of collusion, price fixing, and other behavior that harms the competitive process. Such laws should not be weaponized to attack political enemies or politically disfavored industries. Consumers will be worse off if antitrust laws are used to advance a political agenda by threatening or breaking up successful companies. Doing so would discourage American innovation, including the next generation of American tech companies.