September 20, 2021

Volume XI, Number 263

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September 20, 2021

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September 17, 2021

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Biden Issues Executive Order Promoting Competition

On July 9, 2021, President Biden issued an Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy (the “EO”). The EO casts a wide net, encompassing many industries, including health care.

Among other things, the EO directs the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) to “review the horizontal and vertical merger guidelines and consider whether to revise those guidelines.” In response, FTC Commission Chair Lina Kahn and Acting Assistant Attorney General of the DOJ Antitrust Division Richard Powers issued a statement:

We must ensure that the merger guidelines reflect current economic realities and empirical learning and that they guide enforcers to review mergers with the skepticism the law demands. The current guidelines deserve a hard look to determine whether they are overly permissive. We plan soon to jointly launch a review of our merger guidelines with the goal of updating them to reflect a rigorous analytical approach consistent with applicable law.

It is interesting to note that the horizontal merger guidelines were last revised in 2010 under the Obama administration, and at that time, the changes were noted to include an expanded theory of harm, and to be more flexible than the prior version. Whether the requested reviews will result in further changes remains to be seen. 

On a related subject, see Epstein Becker Green’s new blog post addressing the EO’s potential impact on non-compete provisions.

©2021 Epstein Becker & Green, P.C. All rights reserved.National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 196
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About this Author

John Steren, Epstein Becker Law Firm, Health Care Litigation Attorney
Member

E. John Steren is a Member of the Firm in the Health Care & Life Sciences and Litigation & Business Disputes practices, in the Washington, DC, office of Epstein Becker Green. Mr. Steren devotes a significant portion of his practice to helping health care organizations manage the antitrust risks of joint ventures and other business arrangements. He also focuses his practice on other complex commercial and civil litigation matters.

202-861-1825
Patricia M. Wagner, Epstein becker green, health care, life sciences
Member

PATRICIA M. WAGNER is a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences and Litigation practices, in the firm's Washington, DC, office. In 2014, Ms. Wagner was selected to the Washington DC Super Lawyers list in the area of Health Care.

Ms. Wagner's experience includes the following:

Advising clients on a variety of matters related to federal and state antitrust issues 

Representing clients in antitrust matters in front of the Federal Trade Commission and the United States Department of...

202-861-4182
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