When Trump is inaugurated on January 20, his administration may see the turnaround of Obama’s work to limit mergers, reports the New York Times.
According to the news article, presidents will be able to influence the antitrust process when they appoint officials at the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission. No nominees have been announced yet by President Elect Donald J. Trump but the officials that are overseeing the transition at the said agencies are relatively supportive and permissive of mergers.
Trump himself is for reducing competition. He plans to reduce the number of imports, which can increase wages of American workers.
The downside of such a plan, however, is that it can result in higher prices and less innovation in the market. Similarly, mergers are also found to decrease investment in innovation, competition, and raise prices.
Read the study that tackles the matter here. The New York Times writes further that among the deals in progress that the new administration will inherit include the Justice Department’s lawsuit to prevent a merger between Anthem and Cigna, and Aetna and Humana.
Another merger is between AT&T and Time Warner which Trump has vowed to prevent from happening. However, his reasons reportedly have a more personal source rather than a reflection of his broader views on consolidation.
President Obama’s time in office has seen the rise of mergers in 2015 followed by a reported fall in the dollar volume of 2016 mergers, a result of the administration’s effort to limit mergers. According to a report made by the White House, policy actions that promote competition would benefit both consumers and workers.
An attorney general that was selected, Senator Jeff Sessions, stated that he would not hesitate to enforce antitrust laws. The process would not be influenced by politics, he says.
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