Merger-Related Provisions in the Competition & Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act (CALERA)

Monday, August 9, 2021 - 12:30pm

CALERA is far-reaching legislation that would dramatically alter long-established and incredibly important antitrust standards. Under its broad scope, CALERA undermines the consumer welfare approach to antitrust, provides short cuts to rigorous economic analysis, and leads to questionable expanded antitrust exposure for companies fueled by private litigation and treble damages. The Chamber opposes CALERA because of its unwarranted efforts to indiscriminately overhaul the antitrust laws.

CALERA’s interest in a sweeping overhaul to the existing antitrust laws is unwarranted. While the case for additional resources for enforcement can be credibly made, there is a lack of evidence that the statutory framework for evaluating antitrust claims is deeply and structurally flawed. Beyond the need for more resources, CALERA fails to identify a specific problem, nor offer a tailored solution. Instead, it offers a blunt overhaul approach that if implemented would upend market-based competition.

The Chamber supports more resources for antitrust enforcement. But changes to antitrust law that would expand enforcement beyond the consumer welfare standard or create short-cuts to rule of reason analysis would harm consumers, our economy, incentives to innovate, and our global competitiveness.

This overview of CALERA examines the merger related provisions of the legislation, while other Chamber overviews examine CALERA’s approach to exclusionary conduct and the introduction of civil fines.