Tuesday, March 12, 2013
Posted by D. Daniel Sokol
William Blumenthal (Clifford Chance) offers Models for Merging the US Antitrust Agencies.
ABSTRACT: Responsibility for federal antitrust enforcement in the US is shared between the Federal Trade Commission and the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division. Numerous commentaries have identified pros and cons of dual enforcement, and some commentaries have advocated the merger of the antitrust operations of the two agencies into a single unit. Without taking a position on the advisability of such a merger, this article identifies several alternative models by which a merger might be achieved, and it discusses factors that warrant consideration in choosing among the models. The choice of institutional design turns largely on three overarching questions, each of which has subparts: (i) through what structure should enforcement and policy decisions be made, (ii) what should be the scope of the agency's authority, and (iii) what set of missions should be co-housed in the agency?