Innovation is as important to competition as consumer choice and fair prices. Antitrust regulators in the United States and Europe have recognized that fact in their guidelines and practice. The European Commission issued new guidelines in 2015 that directed consumer protection agencies to consider both the current commercial success and future potential of new ideas when evaluating potential acquisitions. The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) signaled similar thinking in a number of high-profile merger applications in which the FTC, the Department of Justice, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) opposed deals that the agencies said would harm consumers by stifling innovation. Meanwhile, mergers continue to grow, and critics worry—not without evidence—that innovation is suffering as a result.
ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE