The antitrust enforcement agency Federal Trade Commission has an open meeting, and it's starting now. You can watch it here.…
The first item is the stupid idea to stop requiring labels on clothes saying whether stuff needs to be dry cleaned. Everyone hates the idea except rando libertarians.…
Really @CSWilsonFTC? The Republican commissioner is *still* complaining that there are open meetings. And whining that FTC staff temporarily can't speak on public panels with the corporate defense bar during a merger boom.
And now @CSWilsonFTC is talking about how having a rule saying that the labels on your clothes tell you whether it needs to be dry-cleaned chills innovation. The libertarian fear-mongering over regulations has jumped the shark.
And @RKSlaughterFTC says that updating dry-cleaning rules is just not very important in the antitrust/consumer protection world and shouldn't be a priority. @chopraftc expands on this point with the appropriate level of disdain.
"There are so many abuses that businesses are facing today and so many things that small businesses are looking to the commission to act on. Removing the required care labels on our clothing is just not one of them." - @chopraftc
And now the FTC is going to unanimously prioritize going after illegal right to repair restrictions on consumer goods. Bipartisanship! Relevant report here:…
And now the FTC is debating resurrecting an anti-merger tool called 'prior approval' in which aggressive firms trying to break the law face significant merger restrictions.…
And @CSWilsonFTC says that trying to stop mergers by firms who are obviously trying to break the law is 'vindictive.'
Good points from @RKSlaughterFTC. Says the commission often sees 'frequent flyer' firms who come back and keep proposing illegal mergers. The FTC needs to find a way to send a message that trying to break the law is not ok.
"a misguided policy crafted during the Clinton administration" Democrat commissioner @chopraftc throws shade on Bill Clinton
Oh that's interesting. @linakhanFTC says the FTC will be accepting comments on what kinds of contract provisions might be unfair.
And now we are into the public comment period. A bunch of repair shop people are emphasizing the right to repair problem.…
And the first whiny biglaw lawyer makes an appearance at the FTC open hearing. Darren Tucker says the FTC is making mergers too difficult. Awwww.…
* He has taught an advanced antitrust seminar as an adjunct professor at Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University

* Represented Google in its $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit, which closed in 2021 without opposition from the DOJ.…
An acupuncturist from New Hampshire criticizes the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine for gatekeeping entrance to the profession.
And an angry and charming member of the public complains about some bullshit from Adobe software. She's probably right.
An ex-FTC staffer is calling for "more referrals for perjury and obstruction of justice and advocate the DOJ prosecute them. The DOJ declined to prosecute a pharmacy benefit manager despite the fact I had a tape that contradicted his testimony about his invitation to collude." 🔥
Cheerleading gym owner David Owens complains about Bain Capital's Varsity Brands cheerleading monopoly, and says that the Varsity monopoly has enabled sexual abuse of children. Also notes he told FTC in 2015 about Varsity's illegal merger with Jam Brands.…
Here's David Owens, owner of Rockstar Championships, talking about the Varsity brands monopoly over cheerleading.

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More from @matthewstoller

20 Jul
Bloomberg is reporting that Jonathan Kanter will be tapped as antitrust chief at DOJ. 👍
Among establishment antitrust lawyers, Kanter stands out for his skepticism towards big tech. Quite an extraordinary pick, but also consistent with the political times.
Just made myself some tea. Image
Read 6 tweets
20 Jul
1. Merrick Garland is bad, but he also reflects a deeper existential problem for Democrats. There is no artificial division between 'progressive politics' and elite corporate lawyers. They are the same thing. That was the point of the progressive movement.
2. Elite lawyers are the shock troops of the corporate and administrative state. They are anti-partisan and progressive. Why? Because law schools (and economics) were set up by progressives who wanted to destroy party politics and replace it with an administrative state.
3. Herbert Croly: "The overthrow of the two-party system is indispensable to the success of progressive democracy because, under American conditions, the vitality of the two-party system has been purchased... at the expensive of administrative independence and efficiency."
Read 15 tweets
17 Jul
1. I don't think that the Biden WH's call for Facebook to control disinformation is a giant power grab for a simple reason. Grab implies there's a change, but the power already exists and has existed for years. The Trump admin sought to use it too.…
2. What is the actual problem here? We don't have a disinformation or censorship problem related to phone networks or email. Only social networking. Why? Because the FB problem we are dealing with is a business model issue, the financing of monopoly communications system by ads.
3. While a lot of people focus on Jennifer Psaki's comment about taking down anti-vax content from specific users, this commentary by the Surgeon General on the danger of clickbait ad models hit the root problem.
Read 17 tweets
15 Jul
"A Real S*** Show:" Astonishing comments from soldiers angry they aren't being allowed to repair their own equipment because of restrictions from defense contracts.…
"I'm a mechanic in the Army, ran into this problem with AC systems on the Bradley. 120+ degrees sucks for electronic systems, I couldn't tell you how much money was lost buying new parts where it could have been prevented by having the ability to maintain already stalled AC."
"When I was in Iraq, we had a juniper firewall go down, didn't have another on back up, and they had to fly a contractor out from the states to Iraq, to change it out. Took 10 minutes to diagnose the problem, and 3 days of waiting, and 15 minutes to install it...
Read 4 tweets
15 Jul
It is a significant error to assume that the U.S. enforcers are converging with the Europeans. @vestager hasn't blocked a merger in two years. Not one. She approved Google-Fitbit.

The EU has gotten headlines, but the bureaucrats there are corporatists.…
I've been at conferences with European enforcers, and they are *explicit* in rejecting the Brandeisian view. They are strong proponents of consumer welfare and economist control over policymaking.
It's important to note @vestager is *explicitly* hostile to breaking up big firms. When asked if she agrees with Elizabeth Warren's plan to break up big tech, she said not really and characterized doing so as extreme and a violation of private property rights. Very Bork-ian.
Read 4 tweets
11 Jul
1. Ok, so last week Joe Biden made a speech that is potentially as significant as Reagan's comment that "Government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem." He said the era of corporate power is over.…
2. "We are now forty years into the experiment of letting giant corporations accumulate more and more power." With an explicit attack on Robert Bork, Biden pronounced this experiment "a failure."…
3. It's weird for Biden, a 78-year old political lifer from the 'corporate state of Delaware' - as he put it - would break with how the Democrats have been for decades. But Democrats aren't blind, they recognized Trump was a symptom of an angry public.…
Read 21 tweets

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