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NextGen Competition Comments on Draft FTC-DOJ Merger Guidelines

Joins Open Markets Institute and Others to Applaud Agency Reforms Curbing Mergers that Harm Consumers, Workers, and Competition

Sep 18, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 18, 2023 – NextGen Competition filed comments in support of the new Draft Merger Guidelines circulated by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As outspoken advocates focused on greater transparency and accountability in the tech industry, NextGen Competition’s comments highlight the importance of empowering the agencies with the decisive law enforcement tools needed to address America’s monopolization crisis.

“By stopping anticompetitive business practices and promoting greater industry accountability, these guidelines will help foster a robust and competitive technology ecosystem," said George Rakis, Executive Director of NextGen Competition. “Years of inaction from Congress and flawed rulings from the judiciary have hamstrung regulators’ ability to address the crisis and that needs to change.”

Through their unprecedented market power, dominance over consumer data, and anticompetitive practices, Big Tech companies have become a significant and increasing threat to competition. Their control over vast user data enables them to create high barriers to entry for new competitors, making it immensely challenging, if not downright impossible, for smaller players to challenge their supremacy.

With the DOJ and FTC moving swiftly to adopt stronger policies that can adapt to Big Tech monopolization, NextGen believes that robust regulatory mechanisms can and will protect the digital landscape and ensure it remains fertile for innovation.

Most importantly, NextGen strongly believes that the guidelines’ inclusion of policies protecting workers in the face of extreme consolidation is critical. For instance, strong enforcement of these guidelines would prevent these already dominant firms from further monopolizing the entertainment industry through predatory pricing, loss leader strategies, and unregulated use of AI to replace and undermine workers—issues at the heart of the ongoing writers and actors strikes.

In addition to filing its own comments, NextGen Competition joined other public interest organizations and advocates in support of Open Markets Institute comments commending the DOJ and FTC while offering critiques that will strengthen both agencies' ability to enforce antitrust law and “protect, promote, and achieve the full promise of American democracy, liberty, security, community, and citizenship.”

A copy of the full comment submitted by NextGen Competition is available here.

About NextGen Competition

Our mission is to support a robust and competitive technology ecosystem by opposing anti-competitive business practices and promoting greater industry accountability. Specifically, we oppose consolidation in the industry that undermines worker protections and employer accountability, threatens data privacy and security, encourages market concentration, and limits consumer choice. NextGen Competition intends to work with a broad coalition of unions and public interest partners as it seeks to oppose anti-competitive business practices.