Former U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, now a Washington lobbyist, authored a New York Times op-ed this week calling on the Biden administration to invigorate anti-trust enforcement.
He recalls the days of FDR and the Robert Jackson-led trustbusters and writes:
Today, as a result, the legal and policy framework for antitrust enforcement is even more narrow than when Mr. Jackson took the reins in 1937. Decades of judicial precedent and agency forbearance have, in effect, rewritten the antitrust laws in the mold of Judge Robert Bork rather than the Sherman Antitrust Act’s namesake, Senator John Sherman.
Just as F.D.R. seized the opportunity to reinvigorate and redefine antitrust, Biden is confronting a moment that we may not see for another half-century. The growth and failures of the past 40 years have caused corporate concentration that threatens the foundations of our democracy. Nowhere is this more apparent than with the case of modern-day tech giants, which wield even greater power over our lives than the trusts from yesteryear, such as Standard Oil and AT&T. Today’s giants permeate our lives, mediating our social relationships and controlling our access to information.
The best way for President Biden to meet this “F.D.R. moment” is to appoint a modern-day Robert Jackson to lead the antitrust division.
Pryor moved to a major lobbying firm in November, the thinking he’d be well-placed to work with the Biden administration and, now, a Democratic Senate majority. More here on his firm’s lobbying clients.