February 10, 2021
The Implications of the Competition and Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act
Senator Amy Klobuchar recently introduced the Competition and Antirust Law Enforcements Reform Act (CALERA), which aims to significantly change antitrust enforcement and standards. This proposal would make it easier for regulators to bring antitrust cases while raising barriers to large companies pursuing mergers and acquisitions. In a new analysis, AAF’s Director of Technology and Innovation Policy Jennifer Huddleston examines the implications of shifting antitrust standards and considers whether consumers will benefit from these changes.
CALERA would create significant changes to the framework of antitrust law. As Senator Klobuchar has indicated in her discussion of the bill, these changes would not be limited to today’s tech giants and apply to numerous other industries as well. Many of the proposed changes are based on misguided assumptions that certain actions by large players are always bad and fail to recognize the impact that such changes would have on beneficial as well as harmful business transactions. In considering any changes to antitrust law, the focus should remain on whether these changes reflect the underlying principles of antitrust law’s purpose to prevent anticompetitive behavior and would benefit consumers experience in the market. It is important that competition law retain an objective standard that ensures that businesses of all sizes and industries are able to fairly engage in transactions and understand what behaviors risk enforcement.