Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) today introduced the Tougher Enforcement Against Monopolies, or TEAM Act, to reform our nation’s antitrust laws.
“America is facing a panoply of competition concerns not just in Big Tech, but across our entire economy,” said Sen Lee. “We need a holistic approach that deals with all of these concerns, and that benefits all consumers, in every industry – without massively increasing regulation and imposing a command-and-control grip over the economy. The TEAM Act strikes the right balance in protecting competition and consumer welfare while limiting government intervention in our free market economy.”
“Anticompetitive and monopolistic business practices hurt innovation and consumers. This bill streamlines and strengthens antitrust enforcement and holds bad actors accountable for their anticompetitive actions while preserving a free market,” Sen. Grassley said.
The TEAM Act, in addition to consolidating our antitrust enforcement agencies into one, streamlined agency, strengthens our ability to prevent and correct antitrust harm in three main ways:
The TEAM Act strengthens antitrust laws. It includes a market share-based merger presumption, improves the HSR Act, codifies the consumer welfare standard, and makes it harder for monopolists to justify or excuse anticompetitive conduct.
The TEAM Act strengthens antitrust enforcers. In addition to consolidating federal antitrust enforcement at the Department of Justice, the bill also includes a version of the Merger Filing Fee Modernization Act, introduced by Senators Klobuchar and Grassley. And most significantly, the bill roughly doubles the amount of money appropriated to federal antitrust enforcement, ensuring that our antitrust enforcers have all of the resources they need to protect American consumers.
The TEAM Act strengthens antitrust remedies. The bill repeals Illinois Brick and Hanover Shoe, to ensure that consumers are able to recover damages from anticompetitive conduct. Even more significantly, the bill allows the Justice Department to recover trebled damages on behalf of consumers, and imposes civil fines for knowingly violating the antitrust laws.
Here are Senator Lee’s remarks on the Senate floor: