AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) -- A study released this month by a Texas-based nonprofit finds that the increased role of state attorneys general in interstate and high-technology antitrust cases is a "costly intrusion into commercial activity that hinders competition."
Still, the nonprofit free-market research institute Texas Public Policy Foundation, located in Austin, noted in its study that states have an important role to play in local antitrust enforcement.
The study, "Protecting Innovation: The Role of State Attorneys General in Antitrust Enforcement," was released Jan. 18. It was written by Bill Peacock and Josiah Neeley.
Peacock is the Vice President for Research and Director for the Center for Economic Freedom at the TPPF.
Neeley is a policy analyst for the Armstrong Center for Energy and the Environment at the foundation.
"The recent increase in antitrust enforcement by state attorneys general has had negative consequences for competition and innovation," Peacock said in a statement. "This is particularly true in high-technology markets, where federal antitrust enforcement is already problematic."
The foundation's study finds that the increase in antitrust enforcement by state attorneys general in recent years raises several concerns, including: the potential of geographic bias that comes from state attorneys general protecting locally-based businesses from competition; the potential for increased litigation and harsher penalties; and the duplicative nature of dual state and federal antitrust enforcement.
"While we see a clear role for the states in enforcing antitrust law in local commerce, it is much more difficult to discern a role for the states in transactions that are in many cases not only national, but international," said Neeley, who is also an attorney for the foundation's Center for Tenth Amendment Studies.
"The complexity and rapid innovation of high-tech markets increase the possibility of harmful outcomes from antitrust enforcement, and these challenges are intensified by involvement at the state level."
The foundation's 24-page paper recommends the following:
- States should focus on intrastate, i.e. local, business activity;
- The ability of states to bring parens patriae suits under federal antitrust laws should be eliminated;
- Congress should work to eliminate other overlapping areas of federal and state antitrust jurisdiction, including state involvement in pre-merger review; and
- States should more closely examine the actions of other states for possible consumer harm from restrictions on commerce.
To view a PDF of the complete study, click here.
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at email@example.com.
- Calif. jury awards $4.5 million to plaintiff in case against hip implant maker
- MDL panel decides to consolidate Lumber Liquidators class actions
- MDL established for Anthem data breach class actions
- One class action against AAMCO dismissed, under mediation while another remains
- La. AG's antitrust suit against Pfizer relying on private attorneys, campaign donors
- N.M. AG defends decision to pursue nursing service providers, use outside counsel
- N.J. lawmakers argue role of AG is ‘important’ one, needs to be elected
- Software company claims Microsoft continues to infringe on ‘out-of-band’ patents
- Miss. SC denies utility’s request for rehearing on refund ruling
- Goodlatte’s Innovation Act passes House committee, with some tweaks