DOJ’s Vanitha Gupta Says Strong Stance Against ‘Deadly Takeover’

DOJ's Vanitha Gupta Says Strong Stance Against 'Deadly Takeover'

A senior ministry official said the Justice Department would not hesitate to enforce antitrust laws against so-called “murderous takeovers,” where large companies buy start-ups before they become a corporation. competitive threat.

Associate Attorney General Vanitha Gupta, who oversees the agency’s antitrust division, spoke at the Georgetown Law Global Antitrust Enforcement Symposium on Tuesday. There, she said acquisitions of nascent competitors are “a particularly related category of transactions because they undermine competition which can disrupt monopolies.”

President Biden’s leadership choices have already signaled a stronger stance on alleged monopolies and illegal takeovers. But the speech marks the first time Biden’s DOJ has publicly stated its position on antitrust law enforcement.

Gupta cited the ministry’s case against Visa’s proposed acquisition of the payment company Plaid as an example of the government’s work to prevent transactions with nascent competitors. The two companies ultimately called off the merger after the government sought to block it.

“The department will not hesitate to take on similar challenges in the future,” Gupta said. He added that the department “must be careful not to discourage investment in new start-ups. But we also need to remember that startups cannot thrive without a competitive economy. “”

Gupta also called the department’s antitrust lawsuit against Google a “top priority.”

In addition, she said she welcomed efforts by lawmakers to provide law enforcement officials with new tools after monopolies and illegal transactions.

“At the end of the day, we won’t stay with the major digital platforms outsmarting the competition,” Gupta said.

“Digital markets can include new technologies, but the strategy of these digital platforms is not new. The purchase will compete. Canned businesses that won’t be bought. Develop positions in another to take advantage of monopoly positions in one market The Department of Justice has treated these tactics like Standard Oil and Microsoft. We will do it again whenever the facts and the law demand action to protect the economy, however powerful the offenders. “

Biden appointed tech critic Lena Khan as head of the Federal Trade Commission, and his candidate Jonathan Cantor, head of the antitrust division, was a favorite among progressives seeking greater enforcement of antitrust laws. . Kanator is still awaiting confirmation from the Senate, but will report to Gupta once confirmed.

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