Inside Lina Khan’s war on monopolies…
The FTC offers two on-the-record responses to my story from this morning. “It is not clear why this executive flew to D.C. with the expectation of meeting in person. Due to Covid-19, the agency remains under a mandatory telework policy, meaning no one is in the building...
..and visitors are discouraged from coming to the building. Furthermore, when the agency is involved in active administrative litigation against a company, Commissioners must abide by the agency’s and the Administrative Procedure Act prohibitions on ex parte contacts...
between representatives of the party and the Commissioners," FTC Spokesperson Lindsay Kryzak said.
Secondly, the FTC disputes that staff attorneys aren't being allowed to brief FTC Chair Khan. Bureau Directors Holly Vedova and Samuel A.A. Levine said in a statement, “There is no truth to that rumor....
"Chair Khan is frequently briefed by the staff attorneys working on matters. Attendance at and participation in these meetings is decided at the Bureau level, not by the Chair or her team.”

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More from @leah_nylen

24 Sep
Back to our regularly scheduled programming: In just a few mins, Judge Castel up in NY is holding his first conference in the Google advertising antitrust cases.
One thing he may rule on today: how much of the complaints becomes public. @politico and other news org via @rcfp had some views on that we shared with the court last week (We want it all unredacted, pretty please!)…
I am covering remotely, which means we get to start by playing that fun game: "how many people does it take asking for everyone to mute before it finally happens"
Read 9 tweets
23 Sep
Some news from FTC Chair Lina Khan: Holly Vedova and Sam Levine will take on the permanent bureau director jobs…
She also lays out three priorities for the agencies work:
1) discouraging a wave of illegal mergers that has overwhelmed the agency;
2) investigating companies that act as “gatekeepers and dominant middlemen” in the economy;
3) and combatting unfair contract terms.
She also advocates for taking an interdisciplinary approach that would see BC and BCP less siloed and working more with technologists, data analysts, financial analysts, and other experts
Read 4 tweets
23 Sep
Senate Judiciary this AM is considering the state AG antitrust bill that would let the states bypass the JPML for antitrust suits.
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) says the bill would give state AGs "equal footing" with federal enforcers and shield them from having to coordinate with slower-moving private suits. It "recognizes the unique and central role states play in enforcing our antitrust laws"
Lee: “States are sovereign entities and they are entitled to pursue law enforcement actions to protect their citizens in the venue of their choice”
Read 23 tweets
21 Sep
. @JusticeATR and six states plus D.C. have filed a suit to block American and JetBlue's partnership
Background on the deal, approved on Trump DOT Secretary Elaine Chao's last day:…
Read 14 tweets
21 Sep
DOJ's Vanita Gupta speaking to the National Farmers Union saying the agency working closely with USDA on revamp of Packers & Stockyards Act rules on unfair/deceptive acts in agriculture.
Noting that chicken, pork and beef companies are showing records profits, but "consumers are paying more and farmers are earning less," she says. "Just a few buyers have the power to effectively set prices."
Beyond meatpacking, Gupta says @JusticeATR is looking into "excessive concentration" in seeds, fertilizer and farming equipment.
Read 5 tweets
15 Sep
Sen. Mike Lee giving the keynote at @FedSoc event on Bork’s Antitrust Paradox
The House antitrust package “are not antitrust laws at all but thinly veiled attempts to regulate vast swaths of the economy.”
The Biden FTC is “inexperienced and ideological,” he says and “lacking in understanding of the businesses they seek to control.”
Read 10 tweets

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