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 House of Representatives passed her bipartisan legislation with Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to strengthen antitrust enforcement. The Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act would ensure antitrust enforcers have sufficient tools and resources to protect consumers by updating merger filing fees and lowering the burden on small and medium-sized businesses. 

The legislation passed in the House also includes the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act, Klobuchar’s legislation with Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) to empower state antitrust enforcement by allowing state attorneys general litigating antitrust cases to remain in their selected courts.

“Effective antitrust enforcement is critical to ensuring consumers and small businesses have the opportunity to compete. Enforcers cannot take on the biggest companies the world has ever known with duct tape and Band-Aids. That’s why it’s critical that the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division have the resources they need,” said Klobuchar. “My bipartisan legislation will make much-needed adjustments to our outdated merger filing fee structures and help ensure that the federal antitrust agencies can be properly funded. I am also glad that this legislation includes my bipartisan bill with Senator Lee to allow state attorneys general to more efficiently and effectively enforce antitrust laws, which will help protect consumers and strengthen competition. I am working to get this legislation passed in the Senate and to the President’s desk.” 

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. 

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