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Samuel Bowman headshot

Founding Editor at Works in Progress

Sam Bowman is a founding editor of Works in Progress. Previously, he was director of competition policy at the ICLE, principal at Fingleton, and executive director of the Adam Smith Institute.

Geoffrey A. Manne headshot

President and Founder

Geoffrey A. Manne is president and founder of the International Center for Law and Economics (ICLE), a nonprofit, nonpartisan research center based in Portland, Oregon. He is also a distinguished fellow at Northwestern University’s Center on Law, Business, and Economics. Previously he taught at Lewis & Clark Law School. Prior to teaching, Manne practiced antitrust law at Latham & Watkins, clerked for Hon. Morris S. Arnold on the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, and worked as a research assistant for Judge Richard Posner. He was also once (very briefly) employed by the FTC. Manne holds AB & JD degrees from the University of Chicago.

Antitrust

Antitrust Mergers & Merger Enforcement Monopolization

TL;DR

Benefits of Tech Mergers and Acquisitions

Background…

Policymakers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the European Union recently have pursued legislative and regulatory changes to make it more difficult for large companies, especially digital platforms, to acquire other firms. 

Most recently, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) have introduced S. 3197, which would virtually outlaw all acquisitions by the largest online platforms.

But…

Startup formation and venture capital investment are extremely sensitive to the availability of exits, most of which occur through acquisitions. Making it more difficult (or impossible) for start-ups to be acquired by the world’s largest tech firms would imperil the incentive for investors to fund innovative new products and services, and limit competition between digital platforms. The measure also raises significant constitutional questions, due both to the extremely small number of firms it would target and to changes it would make to judicial review that imperil separation of powers.

Read the full explainer here.