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FTC’s McSweeny is open to antitrust changes

 |  September 26, 2017

Posted for Antitrust on Bloomberg Law

FTC’s McSweeny is open to antitrust changes

By Alexei Alexis

Federal Trade Commission Commissioner Terrell McSweeny wants to “revitalize” antitrust enforcement but she warns that renewed enthusiasm for the issue won’t solve every concern about dominant companies like Amazon.com and Google.com.

Even with that caveat, she said in an interview with Bloomberg BNA that Congress could remove “antiquated” antitrust enforcement exemptions for industries such as the health care sector and ensure adequate resources for the FTC and the Justice Department’s antitrust division.

The FTC could also make some changes without Congress, such as reconsidering its guidelines on “vertical mergers” involving companies that don’t compete directly. “I think that’s an area we could definitely look at,” she said.

Some public interest advocates and Democrats are calling for a major antitrust overhaul, saying deficiencies in existing law have allowed companies such as Amazon, Google, and Facebook Inc. to become too powerful. McSweeny said some of those concerns, such as data privacy, are “not all appropriately addressed through competition.”

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