23 Jul 2021

Steptoe unveils online resource to track Biden’s antitrust executive order developments

The Executive Order on Competition Tracker will enable clients to keep updated on related initiatives

President Joe Biden Copyright

Washington DC-based Steptoe & Johnson has launched an online competition tracker that will monitor developments related to US President Joe Biden’s recent executive order that called for greater enforcement of antitrust laws in the US.

Biden issued the executive order – Promoting Competition in the American Economy – on 9 July, with agencies and regulators being asked to clamp down on antitrust activities in sectors such as technology, telecoms, energy, transportation, agriculture and pharmaceuticals, among others. The order is intended to help bring down costs for consumers, such as lowering internet fees, and increase wages. Steptoe’s Executive Order on Competition (EOC) Tracker is a one-stop resource for clients to keep tabs on the impacts of the order and associated deadlines.

Government affairs and finance partner Micah Green, who is spearheading the project alongside antitrust partner Michael Weiner, said: “The president’s executive order on competition will affect numerous sectors throughout the economy. Harnessing our regulatory capabilities across so many of the affected areas, our EOC Tracker is a cross-practice initiative that will be continuously updated as the various agencies, including virtually every financial services regulator, fulfil their enumerated responsibilities under the order.”

He added: “Many of those tasks have deadlines and others are more open ended. But across industry sectors, it is critical for businesses and market participants to stay current on these developments.”

Through the executive order, Biden has created a new agency – the White House Competition Council – that will seek to address excessive concentration, market power abuses, unfair competition and the impacts of monopolies. It also outlined 72 specific initiatives to meet those goals.

Weiner said the order is a potentially significant turning point in antitrust enforcement and is the strongest indication yet that the Biden Administration will apply the toughest enforcement of antitrust laws since the pre-Reagan era.

Steptoe’s EOC Tracker will monitor the progress of those initiatives, as well as provide analysis on developments and how they will impact individual industries.

An FTI Consulting and Global Competition Review report published earlier this month revealed that a majority of senior in-house counsel and antitrust law firm attorneys say competition investigations have become increasingly challenging since the onset of the pandemic and the shift to remote working, in part due to issues around data collection.

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