PLACE HOLDER: POST ON 11/14/23 JUDICIARY HEARING
Earlier this week, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on the Administrative State, Regulatory Reform, and Antitrust held an oversight hearing. Jonathan Kanter, the Assistant Attorney General who leads the U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, provided testimony.
Assistant Attorney General Kanter defended his office's investigations into monopolistic activities that go beyond just unfair prices for consumers. These activities include those that prevent Americans "from making free choices between market alternatives", as noted by Rep. Harriet Hageman (R-WY). Kanter argued that, "antitrust is not just about price. It is about quality, it is about innovation, and it is about choice, as well as many other things."
Many Democrats and Republicans found strong agreement that not having a defined consumer welfare standard has made it harder to investigate and enforce antitrust law, as Kanter noted "If you asked five antitrust lawyers, 'what is the consumer welfare standard?' you'll often get six different answers. A standard isn't a standard unless everyone agrees as to what it is."