50+ antitrust agencies: The Tipline for 16 January 2020

Most countries have only a single agency responsible for conducting antitrust enforcement, but the US has more than 50. In recent years, the US state attorneys general have played a more forceful role in the realm of competition enforcement – best evidenced by a challenge to the T-Mobile/Sprint merger brought by a coalition of states independent from federal enforcers. Assistant attorney general Makan Delrahim told the Wall Street Journal yesterday that a state victory would create “major uncertainty in M&A.” Meanwhile, New York attorney general Letitia James said she did not know if state-only challenges would become a pattern, but she defended their sovereign powers. “As you know, the [state] attorneys general historically have been involved in antitrust cases and we will continue to look at mergers all across this nation in a wide range of industries that are anticompetitive and that hurt consumers”.

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