Sen. Mike Lee’s (R-UT) State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act of 2021 unanimously passed the Senate. The bill would give state officials the same deference granted to federal antitrust enforcers in regard to the venue in which cases are heard. When antitrust enforcement cases are brought in federal court by either federal or state enforcers, a number of private cases are often also brought against the defendant corporation. These private cases often complicate the venue determination of an enforcement case and bring significant delays. The State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act ensures that the States are afforded the same deference as the United Sates when selecting their venue to enforce the federal antitrust laws and removes the inefficiencies and barriers they confront under the current process.
Of the bill, Sen. Lee said, “I am thrilled to see the bipartisan State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act unanimously pass the senate. Putting state enforcers on equal footing with federal enforcers is an important step toward improving antitrust enforcement to better protect American consumers. I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make further reforms to stop abusive monopolists.”
The bill’s sponsor in the house, Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO), said, “The State A.G. Venue Act’s passage through the Senate marks the beginning of a new era of antitrust reform and proof-of-concept for a bipartisan reform coalition of conservatives and progressives.”