Dallas Partner Brad Weber, Co-Chair of Locke Lord’s Antitrust Practice Group, was featured in a Q&A with Texas Lawyer on President Biden’s executive order aimed at promoting competition in the U.S. economy. Weber addressed a wide range of topics related to the order, including potential benefits to consumers and small businesses, possible drawbacks for large corporations, what antitrust lawyers and their clients should do to prepare and the possible timeline for any rule changes stemming from the order.
“The executive order is intended to benefit consumers, by seeking to reduce the prices for goods and services. It also is designed to benefit employees, by seeking to limit the use of non-compete clauses in employment agreements and curtail occupational licensing requirements that impede worker mobility from state to state,” Weber said.
However, he noted, “The order singles out a number of specific industries for action, which could be bad for companies in economic sectors such as agriculture, pharmaceuticals, transportation, banking, and high tech. Imposing potentially onerous regulations on companies in these industries may actually increase the amounts consumers pay.”
Weber said the order may have an immediate impact on FTC and DOJ review of corporate mergers and acquisitions, as the agencies have been directed to review their guidelines. He also said the order’s initiatives “provide a good roadmap for predicting how the FTC, DOJ and other federal agencies will view competition issues that are under their jurisdictions."
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