Monday, January 12, 2009
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
With an increasing push by the FTC to create a different merger review standard and with conduct cases brought under the FTC Act strategically over the use of the Sherman Act, and with a change in administration, maybe we should rethink the institutional structure of US antitrust. Do we really need two agencies? There are a number of different possibilities that this could take:
1. move all but the criminal DOJ work to the FTC (empirical work from the past 15 years suggests that independent agencies lead to better outcomes than executive agencies within the world of complex regulation)
2. move all of the competition work from the FTC to DOJ and make the FTC a consumer protection agency
3. create some very specific slice and dice similar to FERC and the Department of Energy
4. Make formal some of the informal turf allocations between the agencies on mergers
Do readers have any thoughts?