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Press Release

Justice Department Celebrates the One-Year Anniversary of the Executive Order on Competition

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

Today, the Justice Department recognized the first anniversary of the President’s  Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy,  and celebrated  the Antitrust Division’s most productive year of interagency competition policy engagement in recent history. The Executive Order underscored that competition is a cornerstone of the American economy, and called for a whole-of-government response to “excessive market concentration threaten[ing] basic economic liberties [and] democratic accountability.”

“The Executive Order has created unprecedented opportunities for the Division to work with partner agencies to promote competition policy,” said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “Through public advances in our partnerships and numerous enforcement collaborations, the Executive Order has driven meaningful and widespread benefits to competition in the American economy.”

In the last year, the department has established and expanded relationships with close to a dozen federal agencies. department staff attorneys and economists have provided technical assistance, helped to draft key reports on competition and entered into memoranda of understanding to improve the exchange of information and cooperation on enforcement efforts. The department has publicly announced expanded partnerships with the  Department of Agriculture, the Federal Maritime Commission and the Department of Labor. The department has also submitted formal comments to several agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board and the Surface Transportation Board to ensure they consider the effects on competition of certain rulemaking efforts.

The department is undertaking efforts to review and revise a variety of competition policy documents to ensure its approaches protect competition with the vigor the law demands. Following a robust public outreach campaign during which the agencies received over 5,000 comments and heard from hundreds of other Americans affected by consolidation in industries ranging from hospitals to grocery stores, work is well underway to revise the merger guidelines. Last month, the department, along with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, announced the withdrawal of a widely-criticized 2019 policy statement on remedies related to standards-essential patents, in order to better serve innovation and competition. The withdrawal statement underscored that the division would apply a case-by-case approach to scrutinizing conduct that threatens to stifle competition.

As the Executive Order shifts into its second year, the department is focused on institutionalizing and routinizing its newly expanded interagency partnerships. The division remains committed to continued cooperation with its partner agencies in the ongoing implementation of the Executive Order and related interagency efforts to promote competitive markets.

Updated July 11, 2022

Press Release Number: 22-731