U.S. House approves merger antitrust bill giving states more muscle

U.S. House approves merger antitrust bill giving states more muscle
# 30 September 2022 02:34 (UTC +04:00)

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday approved a bill that would sharply raise fees for antitrust reviews of the biggest mergers and strengthen state attorneys general in antitrust fights, APA reports citing Reuters.

The bipartisan bill, which has yet to pass the U.S. Senate, combines a merger fee bill introduced by Representative Joe Neguse, a Democrat, and a measure to mandate that state attorneys general can pick the venue for antitrust lawsuits, which was introduced by Representative Ken Buck, a Republican.

The bill, which passed the House 242-184, is one of several measures under consideration that would strengthen antitrust enforcers to rein in Big Tech.

One bill would bar Big Tech companies like Alphabet's Google and Amazon.com from preferencing their own products on platforms while another addresses Apple's and Google's clout in their app stores. Hopes are dimming that they will become law this year.

The legislation the House approved on Thursday would lower fees paid for antitrust reviews of smaller deals to as little as $30,000. Bigger deals would be more expensive. Deals worth $5 billion or more would pay $2.25 million for their review.

A previous version of the filing fee bill had included budget increases for the U.S. Justice Department's Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission, but those have been removed, according to a congressional aide.

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