By Tom Hebert, The Hill
The Democratic Party is attempting to weaponize antitrust law to reshape the economy and punish successful American companies for political gain.
To that end, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has introduced the “Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act,” a grab-bag of liberal priorities that would stifle innovation and harm American consumers.
Notably, the Klobuchar bill shifts the burden of proof from the plaintiff to the defendant in some monopolization cases, overturning decades of antitrust enforcement precedent. Antitrust burden-shifting would give nearly unchecked power to unelected Biden appointees and fatten the coffers of greedy trial lawyers.
Currently, plaintiffs in a monopolization case need to prove that a company is engaging in anticompetitive conduct. Plaintiffs do this by defining the relevant market a company is operating in, then showing that the conduct in question will result in consumer harm.
Under the consumer welfare standard, which has anchored U.S. antitrust law for over four decades, consumer harm is measured through tangible economic effects and empirical evidence. Antitrust law under the consumer welfare standard allows business conduct that benefits Americans through lower prices, better quality products and greater access to goods and services.
The current antitrust enforcement process is broadly consistent with the tenets of the American legal system because it treats companies engaging in routine business activity with basic fairness and due process. This neutral application of antitrust law gives companies the certainty to compete and innovate in a way that benefits all Americans.