Antitrust in a more conservative Congress.
Antitrust law, properly enforced, enhances the efficiency and performance of markets. An important assumption underlying our market-based economy is that consumers will usually get the most attractive products and services through unimpeded competition. Antitrust is a critical ally of competition - it is not a tool to pick winners and losers, but rather a tool to insure that competitive markets do so. Eliminating anticompetitive practices and stopping anticompetitive transactions reduces barriers to competition and market distortions and misallocations.
Not only does antitrust enforcement remove impediments to markets, producing better products at lower prices, and more innovation, but effective antitrust enforcement bolsters the legitimacy of relying on market outcomes altogether. A belief that marketplace results - the products and services available to consumers - are widely tainted by anticompetitive acts and practices would seriously undermine faith in an economic system based on markets. Such a perception would lead to calls for more regulation and less reliance on the marketplace. Moreover, antitrust earns broad support because every business and individual is not only a producer but also a consumer of at least some products or services - for which they would like to pay no more than the competitive price.
Antitrust is also critically linked to Americans' strong affinity for economic opportunity for a very similar reason. We want our markets to reward achievement; we believe that individuals or businesses who build a better mousetrap and sell it at a better price than others, can and should get ahead. Some may argue that there are other barriers to economic opportunity, based on race, culture, etc., but regardless, it should be recognized that antitrust has its own important role in promoting such opportunity. Antitrust enforcement must also be reasoned, however, so as not to deter procompetitive conduct.
Antitrust is not only important to our market-based economy, but also to the democracy that we all cherish. It is difficult to imagine how red democracy would coexist with markets for basic goods and services corrupted by those who do what our antitrust laws forbid. Even our sources of information would become corrupted if information content and conduit markets were illegally monopolized.
Finally, antitrust thinking and case law has become more sophisticated in recent years, and the room for liberals and conservative to differ has been greatly narrowed. With expansion of the rule of reason, the more limited scope of per se rules, and more refined interpretation of antitrust laws by the courts, the ability of liberals and conservatives to achieve vastly different antitrust results (other than by abandoning enforcement) is more limited than it was several decades ago.(2) This only adds to the already considerable case for bipartisanship and shared liberal and conservative concern for antitrust.
Now, for many reasons liberals and conservatives may differ over how much to rely on markets in particular cases. But they should differ far less about the importance of antitrust enforcement. That is why it can be argued, and I hope correctly, that the more conservative political environment will have only a limited impact on, antitrust. The challenge for this Congress in many ways is the same as for all Congresses - resisting the many who claim that they have special needs that warrant new statutory antitrust exemptions. The House and Senate Judiciary Committees have traditionally approached such claims with great caution.(3)
The remainder of this article focuses principally on outlining what has in fact been a remarkable bipartisan consensus on antitrust. This consensus has been reflected broadly in the legislative process and more recently in enforcement. This consensus supports the author's hope and belief that the more conservative environment will not seriously affect antitrust.
I. Legislative efforts
The history of many of our antitrust laws, both major and minor, generally supports the idea that antitrust is bipartisan. There has been bipartisan cooperation accompanying the passage of most antitrust-related legislation, commencing with America's seminal antitrust law, the Sherman Act. The Sherman Act was introduced in 1889 by Ohio Republican Senator John Sherman after President Benjamin Harrison, also a Republican, urged Congress to look at antitrust issues in his first annual Message to Congress.(4) President Harrison stated:
Earnest attention should be given by Congress to the consideration of the question how far the restraint of those combinations of capital commonly called "trusts" is matter of federal jurisdiction. When they are organized, as they often are, to crush out all healthy competition and to monopolize . . . production . . . they are dangerous conspiracies against the public good, and should be made the subject of prohibitory and even penal legislation.(5)
When the Sherman Act passed in 1890, with Republicans in control of both the House and the Senate, no one voted against final passage.(6)
Serious congressional support for major additional antitrust legislation emerged in 1911. Then, two Wisconsin Republicans, Senator Robert La Follette and Representative Irvine Lenroot, introduced companion bills in the House and Senate designed to strengthen existing antitrust law. While Congress did not act on these proposals, this effort reflected the kinship between the Republican and Democratic agendas with respect to antitrust, which became more apparent in 1914 with passage of the Clayton Act.
The Clayton Act was introduced by Congressman Clayton, an Alabama Democrat and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Chairman Clayton was a leading proponent of antitrust issues throughout the early 20th century. He introduced the Clayton Act with the support and urging of Republican President Woodrow Wilson. The Clayton Act passed by overwhelming margins, although it did not enjoy the virtual unanimity of the Sherman Act. The House voted 227-54 and the Senate voted 46-16 to support the Clayton Act.
The historic bipartisanship reflected by adoption of the Sherman and Clayton antitrust laws has continued in more recent times. During the Ford administration, and for the most part displaying bipartisan cooperation, Congress enacted some of the most significant changes to the nation's antitrust procedures since the Clayton Act. The Hart-Scoft-Rodino Antitrust improvements Act of 1976 was first introduced in the Senate by the Republican Leader, Hugh Scott (R-PA) and by the chairman of, the Subcommittee on Antitrust and Monopolies, Phil Hart (D-MI). Companion legislation was later introduced in the House by Peter Rodino (D-NJ), chairman of both the Judiciary Committee and the Monopolies Subcommittee. Upon signing the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, and reflecting some of the themes discussed above, President Ford declared.
I am proud of my administration's record of commitment to antitrust enforcement. Antitrust laws provide an important means of achieving fair competition. Our nation has become the economic ideal of the free world because of the vigorous competition permitted by the free enterprise system.(7)
Although opposed to the parens patriae provision in the bill, President Ford supported the two other titles that established the premerger notification process and amended the Antitrust Civil Process Act. President Ford concluded his official presidential comment by stating, "Individual initiative and market competition must remain the keystones to our American economy. I am today signing this antitrust legislation with the expectation that it will contribute to our competitive economy."(8)
There were also bipartisan legislative initiatives in the next decade. For example, the National Cooperative Research Act of 1984 (NCRA) received broad bipartisan Support in both the House and the Senate. The NCRA addressed the application of the antitrust laws with respect to joint ventures in research and development in order to Promote research and development and encourage innovation.(9) Senator Strom Thurmond (R-SC) introduced the NCRA in 1983 at the request of President Reagan, and ultimately seventeen other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee signed on as cosponsors. The bill passed both houses by voice vote and was signed into law by President Reagan on October 11, 1984.
Nearly 10 years later, under a Democratic administration, the National Cooperative Production Amendments of 1993(10) passed Congress, also on a bipartisan, basis. The legislation, which sought to clarify the treatment of production joint ventures and amended the law passed in 1984, was introduced in the Senate by Strom Thurmond (R-SC), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Joe Biden (D-DE), and was introduced in the House by senior members of both parties. President Clinton voiced his support for the bill and the Act passed by voice vote in both the House and Senate.
Recently, in 1994, Congress passed the International Antitrust Enforcement Assistance Act(11) (IAEAA), that enables the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to enter into bilateral agreements with foreign antitrust entities to facilitate the gathering of evidence and other materials located abroad. The Senate bill was introduced by the chairman and ranking member of the Antitrust Subcommittee, Senators Metzenbaum (D-OH) and Thurmond (R-SC), cosponsored by the chairman and ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, Seantors Biden (D-DE) and Hatch (R-UT), and was also cosponsored by Senate Judiciary members Kennedy (D-MA), Leahy (D-MA), Simon (D-IL), Simpson (R-WY), Grassley (R-IA) and Specter (R-PA). The House bill was sponsored by Judiciary Committee chairman and chairman of the Economic and Commercial Law Subcommittee, Jack Brooks (D-TX), and by the ranking member of that committee and subcommittee, Hamilton Fish (R-NY). The bill was passed by unanimous consent in the Senate and, under suspension of rules (requiring a 2/3 vote), by a voice vote in the House. The bill was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton approximately 10 weeks after introduction.
This history, which covers the better part of a century, suggests that if there are to be legislative changes to the antitrust laws, those changes will be bipartisan and will gain liberal and conservative votes. There is also little question that legislators known to differ on issues which some argue define liberals and conservatives frequently find common ground on antitrust legislations To the extent that any antitrust legislation is proposed that initially attracts the fire of liberals or conservatives, if such legislation is to become law it is likely to change during the legislative process to minimize ideological differences. Successful antitrust legislation (unlike some unsuccessful efforts to narrow existing statutory exemptions or respond specifically to more recent antitrust court decisions) has not traditionally been highly divisive.
Just as in the legislative arena, there is a long history of bipartisan cooperation in antitrust enforcement. This has been especially evident in recent years. Continuity in the application of the antitrust laws is important to the credibility of antitrust. Wide swings in enforcement - dramatic revision or elimination as administrations come and go - would undermine antitrust as a component of law enforcement.
Enforcement continuity is also important for creating greater certainty for business. Wildly fluctuating antitrust enforcement would likely jeopardize such support for antitrust as is found in the business community. While some might question whether there is substantial support for antitrust enforcement in the business community, it is worth keeping in mind that most government antitrust investigations begin with a complaint from a business that believes that it is a victim of antitrust law violations. Moreover, it is also worth noting that a diverse group of large U.S.-based corporations supported passage in 1994 of the IAEAA.
Perhaps the most striking example of bipartisan continuity in antitrust enforcement is the Modification of Final Judgment (MFJ), i.e., the breakup of AT&T, the old Bell System. The investigation of the Bell System that led ultimately to the MFJ began during the Nixon administration; the Antitrust Division filed suit during the Ford administration; the suit was litigated vigorously throughout the Carter administration; and the landmark decree that forced divestiture was signed during the Reagan administration. Decree supervision followed in the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations.
For example, at a time when the Baby Bells, the seven Regional Bell Operating Companies, opposed maintenance of the core of the decree that prohibits those companies from entering the long-distance market, neither the Reagan, Bush nor Clinton administrations supported blanket removal of these decree restrictions. For example, James Rill, Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust under the Bush administration, testified before Congress in 1992 against lifting the MFJ bar on the Regional Bell Operating Companies offering long-distance service: I do not believe that the core interexchange restriction should be, removed until thorough analysis demonstrates that there is not a substantial risk to competition from BOC entry into these markets."(12) Assistant Attorney General Anne Bingaman echoed Assistant Attorney General Rill's calls for caution in this area, stressing with respect to legislation that safeguards and entry tests are necessary if the line-of-business restriction on long distance is to be lifted.
. . . until local telephone markets are competitive, entry tests and/or structural safeguards that allow for objective analyses by regulators of pricing, cross-subsidization, and discrimination are important means available to ensure that local telephone customers are not charged with the costs of long distance service . . . and that markets are not distorted by unfair and cross-subsidized pricing.(13)
Responding to market developments, Assistant Attorney General Bingaman also moved forward under the MFJ, boldly, yet carefully, fully, supporting modifications to the MFJ to permit a trial of long-distance entry by Ameritech in parts of its own region and the provision of long-distance service by US West outside of its current service area in certain circumstances. (These developments have now been overtaken for the most part by the new legislation.)
Enforcement continuity is also evident in the area of international antitrust. The record of the Bush and Clinton administration illustrate this point. During his tenure, President Bush's Assistant Attorney General, James Rill, focused considerable attention and investigation on international antitrust matters. He made ambitious efforts to advance this effort and during his tenure the number of investigations with an international component increased significantly.
Assistant Attorney General Bingaman has continued her predecessor's heightened focus on international antitrust enforcement. In her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on the IAEAA, Assistant Attorney General Bingaman noted:
Today international considerations in antitrust enforcement are in the mainstream of our enforcement activity. The Antitrust Division currently has some thirty active Sherman Act matters with major international aspects - nearly double the number that were ongoing just one year ago. And the number that wore ongoing a year ago was itself high by historical standards reflecting the renewed emphasis on international enforcement that Jim Rill, my predecessor under President Bush, had already begun.(14)
In fact, the Clinton administration has built upon an enforcement position taken during Assistant Attorney General Rill's tenure. He reversed the policy of the Reagan administration against bringing "footnote 159" or "export" cases. These cases are based on the effect of anticompetitive conduct on U.S. exports, rather than direct effects on U.S. consumers. The Pilkington "export" case, which was filed by the Clinton administration and brought to closure by a consent decree, originally began as an investigation by the Bush administration.
The same sort of continuity is evident with respect to the importance of the Antitrust Divisions criminal enforcement program. Assistant Attorney General Bingaman has described criminal enforcement as a nonpartisan endeavor:
I have often noted that antitrust enforcement is fundamentally non@ partisan and bipartisan and that there is great continuity from one administration to another. Criminal enforcement illustrates the truth of those observations. The serious consequences of criminally violating the antitrust laws reflect the serious nature of the offense. . . . The Antitrust Division always has exercised that responsibility as wisely and judiciously as possible, under the direction of dedicated public servants . . . . (16)
Assistant Attorney General Bingaman said in introducing Gary Spratling as her new Deputy for Criminal Enforcement in early 1995: "Criminal enforcement is an essential part of the Division's mission of protecting competition and the competitive process, and effective criminal enforcement requires the kind of consistency of standards and steadiness of purpose that someone with many years of service in the Division quintessentially brings to this vital job."(17) Mr. Spratling is an 11-year career at the Department.
A top priority of the Division's criminal enforcement program has been the prosecution of international price-fixing cartels. In the first criminal antitrust prosecution of a major Japanese corporation, the Division charged Mitsubishi Corporation of Tokyo, Japan in 1994 with conspiring to fix prices to thermal fax paper customers, thus injuring American consumers and business. Additionally, in 1995, two other Japanese paper companies, Mitsubishi Paper Mills Ltd. and New Oji Paper Co. Ltd., also were exposed for their part in this price-fixing agreement. All three pleaded guilty to price-fixing charges and paid fines of over $10 million.
Building upon the Antitrust Division's record of aggressively pursuing criminal antitrust actions in Republican and Democratic administrations, the Division has during the Clinton Administration been implementing a new "quality cases initiative" to facilitate more effective detection of criminal antitrust violations and enforcement of the antitrust laws. Aside from providing additional resources communication among various state and federal organizations regarding leads in antitrust investigations.
III. Greater support for deregulation may increase support
for antitrust enforcement
One continuing concern in a more conservative environment is how to foster deregulation. This does not suggest that there will be new legislation that cuts back on the antitrust laws or the responsibilities of the antitrust enforcement authorities. Antitrust enforcement is not regulation; the Department of Justice challenges anticompetitive activity in a court of law - it does. not promulgate rules and render determinations itself. In fact, developments indicate that an em of deregulation may encourage heavier reliance on the antitrust laws and on antitrust enforcement.
During the 1980s, deregulation of airlines only increased the responsibilities of the antitrust agencies. First, the Department of Justice has actively pursued civil antitrust enforcement in this industry after deregulation. Second, as part of airline deregulation, airline merger authority was eventually moved to DOJ, although after a transition period at the Department of Transportation. Many believe that the initial shift of merger authority to the regulatory agency, rather than to the Department of Justice, was flawed@ whether that will be of significance in this new round of deregulation remains to be seen. The Department of Transportation, through Frank Kruesi, Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, testified before Congress in 1995 that the transition period "was not a success." He also noted. "When DOT had temporary authority over airline mergers, we approved virtually every proposed transaction, including a few transactions opposed by DOJ. As a result, DOT was widely criticized at the time."(18)
Many of the most ardent advocates of deregulation have also urged increased reliance on the antitrust laws. The Progress and Freedom Foundation, reportedly closely allied with House Speaker Newt Gingrich, issued a report in 1995 advocating elimination of the FCC. While I don't in any way endorse the report or its conclusion's, the report reflects the affinity advocates of regulatory reform often express for antitrust enforcement. In a chapter titled. The Replacement Model, the report states:
. . .where government supervision is called for it will frequently be best done through antitrust enforcement. Antitrust law is designed to prevent acts and practices that can lead to the creation of new monopolies, or harm consumers by forcing up prices, limiting access to competing products or reducing service quality. For more than 120 years, America has relied upon antitrust law to foster competition and ensure that all compete fairly and by the same rules. . . .The implication is that the price-and-entry regulations of the 1934 Act should therefore be replaced by antitrust law as quickly as possible.(19)
The Telecommunications Act of 1996 (Act Act) was signed into law by President Clinton on February 8, 1996. The 1996 Act is friendly to antitrust enforcement. First, the 1996 Act contains an express antitrust savings clause(20) thus insuring that civil, criminal, and merger antitrust enforcement continue as protections against anticompetitive conduct. To the extent that the 1996 Act is deregulatory and allows industry participants broader freedom of action, it also insures that antitrust law remains available to police anti-competitive activity. The 1996 Act's removal of certain restrictions on transactions or limitations on ownership leaves antitrust review and enforcement as a check on anticompetitive conduct. For example, the statutory bar on mergers between cable companies and telephone companies in the same service territory hat been relaxed to some extent and can be waived by the FCC in specified circumstances; but any such mergers that might now be permitted under the Communications Act or might be allowed by FCC waiver remain subject to antitrust review. Second, the 1996 Act expressly repealed the FCC,S power under 47 U.S.C. 221(a) - albeit rarely exercised in recent times - to immunize telephone company mergers from antitrust scrutiny. See section 221(a) of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. 221(a). This is another way in which the 1996 Act insures that congressional efforts to open markets to competition are supported by the protections of antitrust law.
Finally, the legislation also assigns the Antitrust Division a strong role in evaluating Bell Operating Company applications for entry into the long-distance market, requiring that the FCC accord "substantial weight" to the Division's evaluations.(21) This provision was strengthened in conference. It is noteworthy, however, that some leading conservatives, including Robert Bork, at one time called for the Antitrust Division to have an even stronger, independent decision-making role with respect to those applications. An amendment to secure such an independent decision-making role was offered during Senate floor debate, and garnered forty-three bipartisan votes.(22) In the House, a similar provision was offered and won the support of more than one third of the House members.
IV. A steady approach to antitrust
On antitrust issues, the Clinton administration has generally worked cooperatively with key Republicans from the House and Senate judiciary committees. For example, Senator Thurmond played a pivotal role in the passage of the International Antitrust Enforcement Assistance Act of 1994, a strongly bipartism initiative of the Clinton administration. Not only did Senator Thurmond approve of the bill, saying ". . . this is a bill which is good for American consumers and which many American businesses wholeheartedly support . . . I urge my colleagues to vote for this legislation,"(23) but he also helped to forge the kind of broad support necessary to pass it. As I have stated previously, the goals of this legislation deserve broad bipartisan support. It is appropriate and necessary for our antitrust authorities to be given better tools for obtaining evidence abroad. . .."(24)
The IAEAA gained broad bipartisan support on the House side as well. Much of the work was done in the House Judiciary Committee on a bipartisan basis, and Republicans had a large role in shaping and aiding in the development of the bill.(25) The simply is strong recognition of the importance of antitrust enforcement in the increasingly international U.S. economy.(26)
These will no doubt be interesting times for antitrust enforcement as these are interesting times across all government agencies. It does seem, however, that a more conservative Congress is not necessarily a Congress hostile to antitrust or antitrust enforcement. For approximately a century antitrust has attracted wide bipartisan support. While this fact does not itself answer every question, it does suggest that liberals and conservatives share an enduring belief in antitrust that will remain important in this Congress.
(1) I use the terms "liberal" and "conservative" without great specificity. While those terms grossly and unfairly oversimplify modem politics and politicians, a more meaningful and refined discussion would require a separate article. (2) Relatively careful economic and competitive analysis, including procompetitive effects, and more circumscribed application of per se rules, is now an established part of antitrust law. See, e.g., Northwest Wholesale Stationers, Inc. v. Pacific Stationery and Printing Co., 472 U.S. 284 (1985); Broadcast Music, Inc. v. Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc., 441 U.S, 1 (1979); Continental T.V., Inc. v. GTE Sylvania, Inc., 433 U.S. 36 (1977); United States v. General Dynamics Corp., 415 U.S. 486 (1974). (3) In the months following preparation of the initial draft of this article, the House of Representatives acted to restrict significantly the scope of the antitrust laws in the area of health care as part of a Medicare "reform" package endorsed by the American Medical Association. The legislation moved forward very quickly after it was unveiled. It might be wrong, however, to attribute this to a conservative Congress' view of antitrust. Many business groups, including the Business Roundtable and the National Association of Manufacturers specifically opposed these proposed antitrust provisions. There were. no hearings concerning this particular antitrust relief before the Judiciary Committee prior to passage of the bill, and the bill has hot yet become law. (4) President Grover Cleveland, a Democrat and Harrison's predecessor, had also raised this issue. In a larger discussion of tariffs and taxation in his Third Annual Message, he spoke of trusts: ". . . it is notorious that this competition is too often strangled by combinations quite prevalent at this time, and frequently called trusts, which have for their object the regulation of the supply and price of commodities made and sold by members of the combination." (5) The State of the Union Messages of the Presidents 1790-1966, at 1638-39 (Fred Israel, ed., 1966). (6) Earl W. Kintner, 1 Federal Antitrust Law 237-38 (1980). (7) 12 Weekly Comp. Pres. Doc. 1423, Statement by President Gerald R. Ford Upon Signing the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act of 1976, September 30, 1976. (8) Id. The Hart-Scott-Rodino Act was somewhat more controversial than the other antitrust legislation discussed herein. For instance, there was concern expressed by several Senators that the legislation would prevent legitimate mergers from taking place and, in effect, damage the economy. As the legislation moved through Congress, however, some of the provisions least acceptable to conservatives were removed, such as a provision that would have given the antitrust enforcers an "automatic stay" upon challenging any proposed transaction in court. (See Major Antitrust Enforcement Bill Passed, Congressional Quarterly Almanac, 1976, at 431.) The Department and the Federal Trade Commission recently took the initiative to address concerns that gave rise to preliminary discussion of possible legislative action by focusing on implementing the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act in a manner that is more efficient and no more burdensome than necessary. The reforms adopted by the agencies include a nine business-day clearance deadline (the maximum period for the agencies to assign the transaction to either FTC or DOJ); the development of a joint model "second request" to be used by both agencies; and the implementation of a formal internal appeals process to review any business claim that a particular "second request" made pursuant to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act is unduly burdensome. The FTC recently eliminated Hart-Scott-Rodino filing requirements for certain types of transactions. Finally, under Chairman Robert Pitofsky, the FTC in made certain unilateral changes in its enforcement practices that result in an enforcement approach more consistent with that of the DOJ. (9) Pub. L. 98-462, 98 Stat. 1815. (10) Pub. L. 103-42 [section] 3, 107 Stat. 117. (11) Pub. L. 103-438, 108 Stat. 4597. (12) Statement of James F. Rill, Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, Before the Subcommittee on Economic and Commercial Law, Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives (March 18, 1992). (13) Statement of Anne K. Bingaman Before the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance, Committee on Energy and Commerce, U.S. House of Representatives, concerning H.R. 3636 and H.R. 3626 (January 27, 1994) , at 9. (14) Statement of Anne K. Bingaman Before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary (August 4, 1994), at 2. (15) 1994 WL 750645 (D. Ariz.), Civil Action No. CV 94-345 (entered 12/22/94). (16) Criminal Antitrust Enforcement, Joint Address by Anne K. Bingaman and Gary R. Spratling Before the Criminal Antitrust Law and Procedure Workshop, ABA Section of Antitrust Law, Feb. 23, 1995, at 2. (17) Id., at 2. (18) Statement of Frank Kruesi, Assistant Secretary for Transportation Policy, U.S. Department of Transportation Before the Subcommittee on Railroads of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, U.S. House of Representatives (Jan. 26, 1995). (19) George Keyworth et al., The Progress and Freedom Foundation, The Telecom Revolution - An American Opportunity 69 (1995). (20) Pub.L.No.104-104,110 Sat. 56,[sections](601)(b)(1). (21) Pub.L.104-104, 110 Sat. 56, [sections] 271(B)(d)(2). (22) It is worth noting that one of the leaders of this effort in the Senate was Senator Strom Thurmond, chairman of the Senate subcommittee with antitrust jurisdiction, and the amendment received both Democratic and Republican votes (32 Democrats and 11 Republicans). (23) 140 Cong. Rec. S14675 (daily ed. October 7, 1994) (statement of Senator Thurmond). (24) 140 Cong. Rec. S14674 (daily ed. October 7, 1994) (statement of Senator Thurmond). (25) Then-ranking member Hamilton Fish gave his support: "Given the increasingly international scope of the antitrust agencies, work, it is crucial that they have sufficient legal authority to obtain information located abroad that would help them protect American consumers and businesses from antitrust abuses." (140 Cong. Rec. H10456) (daily ed. October 3, 1994) (statement of Rep. Fish). And then-chairman Jack Brooks summed up the nature of support for the bill in a floor statement several days before passage: "H.R. 4781 enjoys bipartisan support both here and in the Senate, as well as broad support within the business community and the antitrust bar. I urge its approval by the House." (140 Cong. Rec. 10456) (daily ed. October 3, 1994) (statement of Rep. Brooks). (26) House Appropriations Subcommittee chairman Harold Rogers has long shared a belief in the importance of international antitrust enforcement. Speaking to Assistant Attorney General Bingaman at the 1995 sub-committee hearing on appropriations, he said: "And with the U.S. now in a world economy that does not recognize national borders, we are in the fight of our life. And what used to be anticompetitive practices by U.S. companies which had enormous impact on the American consumer now is being had by foreign competitors who . . . wave their thumbs at us." Assistant Attorney General Bingaman responded by saying, in part, "Congressman, you're singing my song."
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Title Annotation:||A Symposium (Part II): Antitrust, Current Enforcement, Congressional Attitudes and Initiatives|
|Date:||Sep 22, 1996|
|Previous Article:||Downsizing antitrust: is it time to end dual federal enforcement?|
|Next Article:||Congress and antitrust exemptions: is statutory antitrust relief necessary for health care reform?|