The leaders of a Senate Judiciary Committee panel dedicated to antitrust have announced they plan to spend this congressional term focused on the telecommunications, health and transportation sectors. These three sectors are absolutely critical to small businesses; together they represent nearly $6.5 trillion in annual expenditures or nearly half of the country's economy. Any anti-competitive practices, such as collusion to keep prices artificially high, means billions of dollars in additional expenses and less profits for small businesses.
The subcommittee is specifically interested in:
- The merger of U.S. Airways and American Airlines, which would create the largest airline in the country and consolidate key routes.
- “Pay-for-delay” deals in which pharmaceutical companies pay generic manufacturers to delay production of generic versions of drugs that are no longer protected by patents.
- The repeal of antitrust exemptions for the railroad industry, which has allowed transporters to drive up rates significantly.
The subcommittee plans to work with the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department to ensure that efforts are coordinated between agencies, with Senate oversight.
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