Antitrust Modernization Commission

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In a June 28, 2004 press release, the Antitrust Modernization Commission (AMC) announced its first public hearing (to be held July 15) and its leadership. The AMC described itself as "a 12-member, bipartisan commission created by Congress to examine whether the need exists to modernize the antitrust laws. It is required to 'solicit the views of all parties concerned with the operation of the antitrust laws,' identify and study issues, and report to Congress and the President within three years of the Commission's first meeting."[1]

In response to the Act of Congress that created the AMC (21st Century Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act, Public Law No. 107-273, 116 Stat. 1758, 2002), the non-profit organization American Antitrust Institute (which describes itself as "post-Chicago centrists") wrote:[2]

First, the statute gives almost no direction as to the focus of the AMC. It will be entirely up to the Commission itself to define its scope and priorities. This task will be the first to confront the new Commissioners.
Second, Congress sought to create a Commission that would be balanced politically and representative of a wide range of views. However, whether this will be achieved ultimately depends on the appointments - both the Commissioners and the staff and the experts or consultants - that are actually made.
Third, if one early decision is critical, it will be the President's identification of the chairperson, primarily because it will be the chairperson who controls the executive director and staff. The members will be part-timers whose agenda, priorities, spending choices, and report wording will be strongly influenced by the full-time staff.
And fourth, the AMC's ability to hold a large number of meetings, hear substantial amounts of testimony, obtain the specialized help of experts, and recruit a top quality staff will all be influenced by the amount of funding that Congress eventually appropriates. Four million dollars is a drop in the federal bucket, and will not pay for a lavishly operated Commission; but will Congress make even this limited funding available for a study of antitrust at this particular time in history and in light of a statute that is so open-ended as to its very purpose?



Contact Information

The Antitrust Modernization Commission
1120 G Street, N.W., Suite 810 Washington, D.C. 20005

SourceWatch Resources

External links

  • Antitrust Modernization Commission "" (Commission website)