Who Wins After U.S. Antitrust Regulators Attack? China.
Today it is often claimed that large firms stifle innovation—and the cure is antitrust regulation. But as ITIF President Rob Atkinson and Michael Lind write for Fortune Magazine, America’s own antitrust policies perversely encourage the loss of technological leadership to rival nations. Maintaining American technological primacy in key industries should be a key consideration of U.S. antitrust policy—not just reducing concentration ratios in particular industries. The Justice Department and FTC appear to have little interest or capacity to consider the effects of their actions on U.S. international competitiveness. Going forward, when they decide to take action affecting a leading U.S. innovation-based firm, experts on the broader national interest in maintaining global competitiveness should have a seat at the table. It is time for antitrust policy regarding firms in advanced technology industries to be carried out in coordination with the Commerce Department. The alternative is to allow antitrust actions, which are supposed to benefit all Americans, to backfire by helping foreign rivals bring American firms and industries down.