The world is full of antitrust regulators, but the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is unquestionably the leader. So it wasn’t entirely surprising or out of order when the agency issued a report recently that was grandly titled “The FTC’s Role in a Changing World.” The report emphasized the considerable benefits of international cooperation among national agencies on issues such as effective antitrust enforcement for consumers and avoiding regulatory distortions for businesses.
Those are worthy goals, to be sure. But as Aurelien Portuese writes in Law360, the report suffered from a striking lack of ambition. At a time when leading U.S. companies are being unfairly raked over the coals for protectionist purposes by governments from Beijing to Brussels, the FTC should be pushing for legally binding global rules to bring coherence and order to international competition law. Now is the moment of opportunity, while there are fresh anticompetitive stings that need to be addressed, and the Biden administration has made multilateral remedies once again possible.