Democrats on Wednesday introduced a bill to ban corporate mergers worth more than $5 billon, Politico reports.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and New York Rep. Mondaire Jones introduced the “Prohibiting Anticompetitive Mergers Act,” which would allow the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission to block big money mergers without the need to go to court.
The legislation would apply to mergers worth over $5 billion and those that result in market shares of greater than 33%.
The legislation would also allow state attorney generals to block mergers that they consider harmful.
The bill would also allow the federal agencies to retroactively reverse mergers if they result in the company getting more than 50% market share or if they “materially harm” workers, consumers, or small businesses.
Seven senators and 11 House members, including Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are co-sponsoring the bill.
Mergers “crush” workers:
Warren said recent mergers including Sprint and T-Mobile, Bayer and Monsanto, Facebook and Instagram, and American Airlines and US Airways, “crush consumers, workers, and small business.”
Warren said that data shows that these mergers have cost American families $5,000 per year and kept the median wage down by $10,000 while allowing companies to "jack up prices even further during this period of inflation."
"This bill will promote competition and protect workers, consumers, small or minority-owned businesses [including farms and ranches], local, rural, or low-income communities, communities of color, privacy, and innovation," Warren said.
Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Republican Sen. Tom Cotton last year introduced a different bill aimed at making it more difficult for tech companies to acquire rivals.
The bipartisan bill would allow the DOJ and FTC to stop acquisitions by “dominant platforms” of competitors or acquisitions that would greatly expand a company’s market share.
The bill would only allow to companies with market caps over $600 billion, specifically targeting tech companies like Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google while exempting companies like Walmart and Visa.
Klobuchar said the bill "will put an end to those anticompetitive acquisitions by making it more difficult for dominant digital platforms to eliminate their competitors."