Statement of Alex Harman, Competition Policy Advocate, Public Citizen
Note: Today, at least six megamergers worth more than $60 billion in total were announced on Wall Street. Charles Schwab proposed to acquire TD Ameritrade for $26 billion; LVMH proposed to acquire Tiffany & Co. for $16.2 billion; Viagogo proposed to acquire StubHub for $4.05 billion; Novartis proposed to acquire The Medicines Co. for $9.7 billion; PayPal proposed to acquire Honey Science for $4 billion; and Mitsubishi proposed to acquire Dutch utility Eneco for $4.52 billion.
The message from President Donald Trump’s antitrust enforcers to Corporate America is loud and clear: Go crazy and merge away. The antitrust enforcers are asleep at the switch.
These mergers are the latest examples of a disastrous consolidation trend that harms consumers, workers and small businesses, and discourages innovation and competition. If approved, consumers can expect less choice in brokerage services, even more expensive prescription drugs and even more expensive event tickets.
Trump’s antitrust enforcers at the U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission have failed again and again. With Corporate America now effectively mocking the agency, it’s time for the agencies to demonstrate that they will, in fact, enforce the law. The agencies should block these mergers, and Congress should shore up the antitrust laws to give the agency even more tools to fight harmful monopolies.