President Biden has prioritized antitrust enforcement since the start of his term. He appointed progressive enforcers, Lina Khan and Jonathan Kanter, to positions with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), respectively, and on July 9, 2021, he issued the Executive Order on promoting competition in the United States. Economy. Exec. Order No. 14,036, Fed. Reg. 36,987 (July 9, 2021). In the executive order, President Biden said “vigorous competition is essential to preserving America’s role as the world’s leading economy.” Identifier. to 36,987. He criticized the consolidation and called on the various executive departments and agencies to protect competition by exercising their regulatory authority with the ultimate goal of lowering consumer prices. Identifier. at 36,987-36,989.
President Biden recently renewed his focus on antitrust enforcement following the release of an October 2021 Consumer Price Index report that showed inflation of 6.2% from a year to year. Consumer Price Index Summary Press release, US Bureau of Laboratory. Statistics (last modified November 10, 2021). On November 10, 2021, in response to the report, the President said “[i]Inflation hurts Americans[’] portfolios, and reversing this trend is a top priority for me. Presidential Statement on the National Economy, 2021 Daily Comp. Close. Doc. 943 (10 November 2021). Stressing that the magnitude of reported price increases was largely caused by rising energy costs, the President directed the National Economic Council to seek ways to reduce natural gas costs and asked the FTC to “respond to any market manipulation or price increases in this sector.” Identifier.