Why Companies Shouldn’t Have To Prove Mergers Increase Competition Beforehand

Why Companies Shouldn’t Have To Prove Mergers Increase Competition Beforehand


When my young kids want a treat, they usually ask me or their mother for permission. A negotiation ensues. Promises are made. Concessions are extracted. More often than not, after some delay and occasional tears, my kids will get their treat — but at a price.

This arrangement (mostly) works for a family with young children, but our economy shouldn’t operate on this model. Federal agencies aren’t parents, and economic actors aren’t children who must seek prior permission for routine conduct. Beyond specific areas such as national security and health and safety, our economic framework rests on a foundation of freedom. That framework has produced the strongest economy in the history of humanity.

Unfortunately, many policy types want to expand the situations in which private companies must seek prior permission from the federal government for routine conduct. Based on the belief that “big is bad,” these proposals would flip the current rule that the government bears the burden of

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