March 12, 2024


The following letter was sent to Rana Foroohar, global business columnist and associate editor at the Financial Times, in advance of her discussion with FTC Chair Lina Khan at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace event, “The Future of American Innovation.”

Editor Foroohar,

The event description for your upcoming Carnegie Endowment for International Peace discussion with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Khan aptly notes, “The United States has led the world on innovation and on developing new technologies, industries, and business models, securing its position as a global superpower.”

As the leading voice for American business, we would like to offer a prompt for this discussion: "How exactly will Chair Khan’s agenda, specifically the FTC’s and Department of Justice’s (DOJ) updated merger guidelines, protect and enhance America’s position as a global superpower?" From our perspective, the facts are not on Chair Khan’s side.

Mergers help America’s next startups succeed and fuel innovation. A February 2023 study from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce found that merger activity is associated with an increase in research and development expenditures to the tune of $9.27 billion to $13.52 billion per year in R&D-intensive industries. Mergers are also associated with between over 1,000 to over 3,000 utility patent applications per year.

However, Chair Khan’s new merger guidelines significantly lower the standards for mergers to be investigated and potentially considered unlawful. These changes fly in the face of market realities and do little to preserve “economic freedom and our free-enterprise system,” as the FTC and DOJ claim. Chair Khan must answer for the potential billions that may be lost in investment and innovation. How is she planning on making up the difference and ensuring foreign competitors do not take laps around the U.S.?

Our world is in flux. We face grave threats from China, Russia, and other nation-states. Chair Khan’s anti-business agenda will hamper American companies’ ability to compete in the global marketplace. It is time that Chair Khan answered the serious questions that her agenda poses. We hope you will ask them.  


Sean Heather
Senior Vice President, International Regulatory Affairs & Antitrust
U.S. Chamber of Commerce