Nominating hearing for (among others) Biden antitrust pick Jonathan Kanter.…
Also a hearing for Lucy Koh to be on the ninth circuit. Koh is great on antitrust.
Now Tom Cotton is pressing Koh about FTC vs Qualcomm, and attacking her decision finding that Qualcomm was a monopoly. Koh responds by justifying her decision on standard essential patent licensing. Her decision was 100% correct, the ninth circuit was wrong to overturn her.
Biden's antitrust pick - Jonathan Kanter - is now up.…
Grassley is asking about concentration in the meatpacking industry and pushes on packers and stockyard's act. Kanter calls the problem a "high priority" and calls "vigorous antitrust enforcement" in agriculture.
Republican Senator Grassley now presses on pharmaceutical prices and anti-competitive practices. Kanter says the antitrust laws play an important role so far.

So far this hearing is a love story between Kanter and Grassley.
Senator Klobuchar asks Kanter whether the antitrust division needs more money. He says yes.

This is not a rough hearing so far.
Klobuchar says the AT&T-T-Mobile merger shouldn't have been allowed even with the settlement and presses Kanter on settlements in general.

Kanter says that remedies "have to work. If they don't work then you still have a violation of the law."
Lee is saying that in the first nine months of this administration, there are disturbing trends around antitrust. FTC withdrew vertical merger guidelines, but the DOJ didn't. Says FTC is asking about ESG policies of merging parties. I don't think that's true.
Now Lee is asking Kanter about the consumer welfare standard. Can't it be more flexible than it is commonly applied? Kanter says yes. Now there's a back and forth on economics.
Senator Lee is asking about political values in antitrust, and Kanter says antitrust laws are about protecting competition and the competitive process.
Senator Blumenthal asks about interoperability, and now Senator Tillis presses him on standard essential patents and non-discriminatory treatment in antitrust law. This one's a very nerdy but huge area. Tillis also says he'll support Kanter.
California Senator Padilla is talking about labor exploitation, noncompetes and labor markets. Kanter pledges strong enforcement here. I'm getting ready for a big tech friendly line of questioning soon.
Senator Marsha Blackburn asks Jonathan Kanter about the consumer welfare standard in technology. "Antitrust laws have to reflect market realities, and market realities have shifted dramatically."
And the hearing is adjourned. Seems like Kanter will sail through.

This was the most interesting nugget from @SenMikeLee. I find it hard to imagine the FTC asks about social policies in merger investigations unless there's direct relevance to competition.

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More from @matthewstoller

29 Sep
Hearing on nitty gritty laws that allow pharmaceutical firms to keep prices high via anti-competitive practices.…
These members don't understand product hopping. The scheme is that when a doctor writes a prescription, a branded drug can only be substituted with an identical generic that’s the same dosage form. The new product intentionally screws that equivalence up.
So @DarrellIssa @RepDanBishop et al understand non-drug patents, but Hatch-Waxman creates a special drug patent process to move to generics. They are right the FDA and patent office should stop allowing all sorts of nonsense patents though.
Read 6 tweets
27 Sep
"Public opinion polling found majorities, ranging from 54 percent of Poles to 83 percent of Austrians, affirming that if there were a conflict between the United States and China, they would choose to actively support neither."

This is not an alliance.…
Europe has no effective military forces, they don't want to align with the U.S. economically, they aren't poor and threatened by Soviet armies. What's the rationale for the U.S. committing resources to European defense?
The current relationship between the U.S. and Europe is dysfunctional. By shielding Europe militarily and economically, the U.S. incentivizes Europe to under-project power, which is as dangerous as over-projecting it.
Read 4 tweets
26 Sep
The Villains Behind Our Medical Supply Shortages…
It's been 18 months since the pandemic started. Why are we *still experiencing* shortages in basic medical supplies? Look at a series of monopoly middlemen in hospital buying for the answer.…
The shortage problem in health care wasn't caused by Covid. Medical personnel have been seeing shortages for years. Here's one reader.… Image
Read 4 tweets
23 Sep
Here’s Merkel praising China’s totalitarianism and attacking democracy. We can work with European countries where it makes sense, but it’s time to come to grips with Western Europe being in China’s sphere. Democracy has lost its legitimacy in Europe.
After reading this I can’t see how NATO is viable without significant restructuring. The US needs to have a hard conversation with our allies about whether they want access to our markets and defense umbrella.…
I spoke in Germany a few years ago at a political conference and the normies in the audience asked Chinese speakers tough questions on human rights. The German political elites were offended that their own people were so rude.
Read 4 tweets
22 Sep
It's concentrated capital that's suppressing wages and causing shortages, not the flow of people. A pro-worker society requires having pro-production policies. Neither party has those yet.…
The conservative framework of 'let's stop immigration so that wages will go up' conflicts with 'how come no one wants to work at low wages?!?'
It turns out we have this thing called a government, and it can do stuff. Right now it does stuff like enforce contracts that 30 million Americans had to sign forcing them to stay at their jobs instead of getting higher wages.

It could do other stuff tho.
Read 4 tweets
21 Sep
1. A lot of people are getting really freaked out by shortages. And they should be. But so far, no one has proposed answers. That's starting to change.…
2. The shortages we're seeing were predictable, and I (among others) predicted them. This is because the supply chain problems have been obvious for decades.…
3. What is the problem? In short, we stopped caring how we make and distribute stuff. Since the 1970s, policymakers allowed relentless cost-cutting in the name of efficiency. That has meant in practice lower pay, fewer production lines, more monopolies.…
Read 15 tweets

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