One of the bills would adjust fees paid to the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department’s Antitrust Division for merger reviews, raising fees on bigger deals while smaller deals would pay less.
Klobuchar also introduced a bill to toughen standards for reviewing mergers. Under that bill, companies planning some large mergers would be required to show that their deal would not materially harm competition. Under current law, it is the government which must show that the deal would “substantially” harm competition.
The second bill was also co-sponsored by Blumenthal, Booker and Markey.
The bill that would adjust fees has the support of Makan Delrahim, head of the antitrust division, and FTC Chairman Joe Simons, whose agencies reviews deals – many valued at over $1 billion – to ensure they are legal under antitrust law. Both men were appointed by President Donald Trump.
The FTC is looking at a merger of dialysis companies Fresenius Medical Care and NxStage Medical Inc, as well as Altria Group’s investment in vaping company Juul Labs Inc.
Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Bill Berkrot