Attorney General James Leads Bipartisan Coalition in Calling on Congress to Modernize Federal Antitrust Laws

NEW YORK – New York Attorney General Letitia James today co-led a bipartisan coalition of 32 attorneys general from around the nation in calling on Congress to make improvements to the nation’s antitrust laws via a range of bills moving through the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. In a letter sent to House and Senate leadership, the attorneys general applaud legislative proposals to modernize federal antitrust laws and urge Congress to consider passage. The coalition also recommends a particular focus on provisions that would further protect consumers from unlawful and irresponsible mergers and business practices, and that facilitates competition and innovation.

“Our antitrust laws must be modernized to catch up with the 21st century economy we are all living in,” said Attorney General James. “For decades, our antitrust laws have promoted innovation and allowed some of the most influential and innovative companies in the world to thrive in the United States. But as our economy has changed, our laws have remained stagnant, putting a halt to this healthy competition. Congress must pass this package of antitrust bills and give us the tools necessary to ensure competition remains strong across New York and the rest of the nation. Competition yields innovation, competitive pricing, higher quality, and consumer choice, and that is exactly what we are fighting to protect.”

The coalition’s letter notes that updated legislation is required to respond to changes in technology, decreased competition in important sectors, and undue judicial skepticism towards robust antitrust enforcement, commending the antitrust bills as steps in the right direction. Specifically, the coalition calls on Congress to move forward with the Ending Platform Monopolies Act, the American Choice and Innovation Online Act, the Platform Competition and Opportunity Act, the Augmenting Compatibility and Competition by Enabling Service Switching (ACCESS) Act, the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act, and the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act.

Along with these updates, the coalition also urges Congress to include in the proposed legislation provisions confirming that the states, through their independent sovereign authority, stand on equal footing with federal enforcers under federal antitrust law, including with regard to the timing of challenging anticompetitive mergers and other practices.

Attorney General James has been a leader in the fight to hold the nation’s largest companies accountable when they’ve worked to stifle competition and reduce consumers’ choices, and has led legal battles against Facebook, Google, T-Mobile, and others.

Additionally, last year, Attorney General James testified in support of reforms to New York state’s Donnelly Act in an effort to modernize the state’s antitrust laws and give the Office of the New York Attorney General new authorities to hold dominant firms accountable.

Joining Attorney General James in co-leading today’s letter to Congress are Attorneys General Phil Weiser of Colorado, Douglas Peterson of Nebraska, and Herbert H. Slatery III of Tennessee. The four are joined by the attorneys general of California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, the District of Columbia, and Guam.