Consumer welfare just isn’t what it used to be

Consumer welfare just isn’t what it used to be


A fairly reliable rule of thumb in Washington is that bills and regulations rarely live up to their marketing. The Biden administration’s recent regulations promulgated in the name of “consumer protection” prove this perfectly. 

Perhaps most striking is the Biden administration’s opposition to mergers and acquisitions. This antitrust approach, spearheaded by regulators at both the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, has all but abandoned the consumer welfare standard that has traditionally governed antitrust policy. While administration regulators claim they are going after big business, consumers often pay the price.

For example, the Biden administration has taken heavy-handed action in some very consumer-heavy industries, such as supermarkets and airlines. Recently, the FTC announced its intention to pursue challenges to the recently-announced Kroger-Albertsons merger.

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