Department of Justices Antitrust Division Announces New Roundtable Series on Competition and Deregulation

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The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division will hold a series of three public roundtable discussions to explore the relationship between competition and regulation, and its implications for antitrust enforcement policy. The first roundtable will occur on Wednesday, March 14, 2018 in the Great Hall of the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST. The tentative agenda of the first roundtable can be found below.

The series of roundtable discussions will help the Department pursue effective and appropriate competition policy and identify related regulatory burdens on the American economy. The first roundtable will examine exemptions and immunities from the antitrust laws, and their impact on the free market and consumers. It will also include a discussion of the appropriate role of the state action doctrine in light of the broader federal policy favoring competition in interstate commerce.

“Our nation’s antitrust laws contribute to a well-functioning free market economy, and appropriate enforcement minimizes the need for burdensome regulatory intervention in the free markets,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim. “Broad, bipartisan agreement for over half a century recognizes that the unrestrained interaction of competitive forces yields the best allocation of economic resources, the lowest prices, the highest quality, and the most innovation. I look forward to a robust exchange of ideas on these important topics.

The roundtables will provide a forum for industry participants, academics, think tanks, and other interested parties to discuss the economic and legal analyses of competition and deregulation. The Antitrust Division plans to invite panelists from a variety of organizations, including American Antitrust Institute, American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law, American Enterprise Institute, Association of Corporate Counsel, Business Roundtable, Cato Institute, Consumers Union, Federalist Society, Heritage Foundation, National Association of Attorneys General, Open Markets Institute, Public Knowledge, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

The Department of Justice welcomes comments in advance of each of the roundtables. The Department will accept public comments (not to exceed 20 pages) regarding the first roundtable until March 13, 2018. Interested parties may submit comments to: CompReg1@atr.usdoj.gov. Submitted comments will be made publicly available on the Department of Justice website. 

The second roundtable, which will focus on antitrust consent decrees, will be held on April 26, 2018. The third roundtable will be held on May 31, 2018, and will assess the consumer costs of anticompetitive regulations. Agendas for upcoming roundtables will be posted on the Department of Justice website, along with instructions for submitting public comments for those roundtables. 

The roundtables will be open to the public. Individuals wishing to attend must register for each roundtable on the Department’s website, at http://www.justice.gov/atr/CompReg/

Reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request. Requests should be submitted via email to Jeremy Edwards in the Office of Public Affairs at Jeremy.M.Edwards@usdoj.gov or by calling 202-307-2016. Requests should be made in advance. Please include a detailed description of the accommodation needed and provide contact information.

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