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Utah, Iowa and North Carolina senators introduce act to better enforce antitrust law

Utah senators introduce act to better enforce antitrust law (Photo: MGN)

(KUTV) - Sens. Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch from Utah joined Sens. Thom Tillis and Chuck Grassley to introduce the Standard merger and Acquisition Reveiws Through Equal Rules Act, or SMARTER Act, on Tuesday.

This bill will require the Federal Trade commission to go through the same procedures that the Department of Justice must go through when enforcing antitrust law, and would require Federal Communications Commissions to issue merger review decisions expeditiously, according to a press release.

“The only people that benefit from uncertainty in antitrust law are antitrust lawyers,” Lee said in a press release. “Both businesses and consumers deserve clarity and certainty when it comes to federal antitrust law enforcement and the SMARTER Act would create a simpler and more equal system.”

Right now, agencies apply the same substantive law to the mergers they review, but they often differ in their procedures. The SMARTER Act fixes this problem by requiring the Commission to satisfy the same standards that Department of Justice must meet.

“This is an important issue for the business community and for all Americans,” Sen. Hatch said in a press release. “There is no good reason for the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice to apply different standards in enforcing our nation’s antitrust laws. Businesses seeking to merge deserve consistent treatment without regard to which agency decides to review the merger. I look forward to working with Senator Lee to move this legislation forward to bring much-needed reforms to the merger review process.”

An online version of the trust and bill can be found here

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