Legislation will protect consumers by updating merger filing fee structures and lowering burden on small and mid-sized businesses
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chairwoman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Competition Policy, Antitrust, and Consumer Rights, released the statement below after the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act, her bipartisan legislation with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to reform merger filing fees passed Congress as part of the government funding package. The bill would update merger filing fees for the first time since 2001, lowering fees on smaller acquisitions and increasing them for the largest mergers, raising additional revenue that Congress can use to fund antitrust enforcement.
The legislation passed in the Senate also includes the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act, Klobuchar’s legislation with Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) to empower state antitrust enforcement by making it easier for state attorneys general litigating antitrust cases to remain in their selected courts. The bill has been endorsed by a coalition of State Attorney Generals.
“We cannot expect our antitrust enforcers to take on the most powerful companies the world has ever known with duct tape and Band-Aids. By restructuring outdated merger filing fees, our bipartisan legislation will enable Congress to get much-needed resources to our antitrust enforcers so they can protect competition. I am also glad that this legislation includes my bill with Senator Lee to allow state attorneys general to more effectively enforce antitrust laws. This is an important victory, but it is clearly just the beginning of this fight. I will continue to work across the aisle to protect consumers and strengthen competition policy.”
Premerger filing fees have not changed since 2001. The current fee structure places too small a fee on larger deals – the fee for a $900 million deal is currently the same as the fee for a $60 billion deal. In recent years, funding for enforcement authorities has stagnated, failing to keep pace with the growth of the economy and increases in merger filings. The new fees will take effect in 2023.
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