Warren wants to undo 20 years of mega-mergers - would make FTC "super agency"

Warren's team claims she was ambused as details of bill leaked early

Senator Elizabeth Warren's draft bill being floated with leading anti-trust experts around the country – proposes sweeping changes to current anti-trust law. People with direct knowledge of the bill, tell FOX Business the currently named "Anti-Monopoly and Competition Restoration Act" would look at past mega-mergers and possibly take retroactive action to undo them.

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Potentially impacting tech giants like Amazon, who acquired Whole Foods and Zappos, and Facebook who bought Whatsapp and Instagram.

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
AMZNAMAZON.COM INC.1,864.72-13.22-0.70%
FBFACEBOOK INC.222.14+0.37+0.17%

The leak - took Warren's team by surprise - sources close to the Senator telling FOX Business' Charlie Gasparino that they felt "ambushed" by the leaked draft saying that the bill is not in its final stages.

In addition to taking retroactive to undo mergers of the past – Warren’s plan would change the standard for how mergers are greenlit in the future – having feds review mergers based on consumer impact but also consider the impact a merger would have on innovation, entrepreneurship, and privacy. The emphasis on privacy could impact companies like Apple and Google.

WARREN'S PLAN TO REVERSE MERGERS BAD FOR ECONOMY: STIFEL CEO

TickerSecurityLastChangeChange %
AAPLAPPLE INC.318.73+3.49+1.11%
GOOGLALPHABET INC.1,479.52+29.36+2.02%

The bill also gives the Federal Trade Commission special powers – turning it into a “super-agency” according to law professor Chris Sager at Cleveland State University’s Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. FOX Business learns the bill mandates the FTC to make regulations that would create specific prohibitions on the conduct of US firms. The power to make regulations is not new – but something the FTC has avoided using - but the bill makes it clear it intends to start using this FTC authority to implement new regulations.

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The FTC would also have the sole power to sign off on all large mergers – giving the FTC a new special authority and potentially making it more powerful over anti-trust issues than the Department of Justice. Sager tells FOX Business he thinks its time for a major overhaul of anti-trust regulation - but this bill won't be the one to do it adding that the bill as written "can not be adopted - it is not politically plausible".

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