Antitrust Attacks on Private Equity Hurt Consumers

Access to capital and management know-how is essential for fair competition in the economy. Historically, private equity firms have played an important role in funding innovation and making US capital markets the envy of the world.

But antitrust authorities at the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department say these firms — which have cash to invest and managerial and financial expertise — are inherently suspect business owners and should face heightened antitrust scrutiny. FTC Chair Lina Khan said in June that “private equity firms’ business models can, in some cases, distort incentives that hamper productive capacity, degrade the quality of goods and services, and hamper competition.” In a recent speech, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Andrew Forman said that due to concerns about private equity, the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division “often views a market participant as a buyer of assets more favorably than a private equity firm.” Antitrust Attacks on Private Equity Hurt Consumers

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