Proposed antitrust reform legislation: Sea change or nothing to see?

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Antitrust reform has become a popular topic in the halls of Congress, academia, and even some (socially distant) gatherings. The topic has slowly picked up pace over the years as lawmakers and academics have decried the growth and conduct of large technology companies and pointed to consolidation across a wide range of industries as a source of concern for consumers and the economy as a whole. Even some Republicans—historically supporters of deregulation and limited enforcement—have supported reevaluation of merger laws and certain other reforms. And while some lawmakers remain hesitant to embrace sweeping antitrust reform, others have criticized the broad discretion courts currently enjoy in shaping the antitrust laws.

This article explores Competition Antitrust Law Enforcement Reform Act of 2021’s (CALERA’s) provisions and what the Bill may (and may not) change if adopted in whole or part. It then explores how such changes may affect certain companies, especially larger ones, both in day-to-day business dealings and merger activity. This article concludes with thoughts on the potential direction of antitrust reform in the months ahead.