Wednesday, July 23, 2003

Antitrust News: More Hearings

The House Judiciary Committee's "Task Force on Antitrust" will hear testimony Thursday at 2 p.m. from DOJ antitrust chief Hewitt Pate and FTC Chairman Timothy Muris. I'm loathe to call this an oversight hearing, since Congress generally provides no oversight of either antitrust agency's activities. Indeed, a stated purpose of this hearing is to discuss the new regulations governing telecommunications mergers, which is odd since the agency that adopted those rules—the FCC—is not represented at this hearing.

Incidentally, I've seen reports that the Senate Judiciary Committee's chief counsel is leaving his present post to take a deputy's position at the DOJ's antitrust division. Yet more proof that Congress has no genuine interest in examining abuses by antitrust regulators.

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