Donald Trump’s stunning, come-from-behind election victory has people all over the world asking: “How will this affect me and my interests?” Yes, even antitrust practitioners are asking this question.
The Trump election campaign focused on a few themes — limitations on immigration, opposition to international trade agreements perceived to undermine U.S. industry and U.S. wages, the rights of gun owners, and potential rapprochement with Russia among them — but antitrust policy was not one of them. This is hardly surprising, as antitrust is almost never a topic in U.S. presidential politics. Usually, at the presidential level, the issue is simply the degree to which the candidate positions himself as “pro-business” or as more inclined to regulate business activity. It is typically left to the president’s appointees to translate the approach into a concrete policy and enforcement agenda.
Still, there are several markers that suggest that the new president would instinctively want his antitrust program to be activist — even if we cannot say in which particular direction.
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