SALT LAKE CITY – Utah Attorney General Sean D. Reyes today is one of the leaders in a bipartisan coalition of 45 attorneys general who has sent a letter to congressional leaders requesting the federal government provide the necessary funding to support state antitrust enforcement efforts. Read the letter here.
“Helping maintain a competitive marketplace through Antitrust enforcement is a critical duty of the Utah Attorney General’s office. It benefits not only consumers who have more choice, it allows smaller and emerging players to compete, innovate, grow and push market leaders for even better products and services,” said Attorney General Reyes. “Our world is rapidly changing. Technology often accelerates the size, scope and timing of advantages for larger companies in the market. While states are empowered to pursue actions against large corporations including Big Tech, investigating these cases is complex and requires significant resources. In the meantime, consumers and smaller competitors remain vulnerable. Federal funding to the states would empower us to be more effective and will save the federal government and taxpayers money in the end.”
State attorneys general around the country, and from both parties, are currently leading cutting edge, resource-intensive antitrust cases against powerful and sophisticated Big Tech firms. Late last year, Attorney General Reyes joined a bipartisan coalition of 48 attorneys general in a lawsuit against Facebook for anticompetitive conduct[LF1] , as well as a bipartisan coalition of 38 attorneys general in suing Google on antitrust grounds[LF2] .
These are just some of the examples of the many types of enforcement actions states have and can bring to challenge anticompetitive conduct by major players with vast resources in a variety of industries. Often working closely with federal partners, states bring these enforcement actions in the public interest to protect consumers and the competitive process.
As the coalition — led by Attorneys General Letitia James of New York, Phil Weiser of Colorado, Tom Miller of Iowa, Doug Peterson of Nebraska, Ken Paxton of Texas, and Sean Reyes of Utah — notes in their letter to the chairs and ranking members of the respective Senate and House committees, as the nation’s economy has grown, so too has the need to staff and finance a greater number of antitrust enforcement actions that are fundamentally more complex and resource-intensive than in the past. There is a growing bipartisan consensus that antitrust is at a turning point, and Congress currently is considering a number of bills that would enable more robust enforcement. Whether antitrust investigations and litigation are pursued together with federal partners or in multistate coalitions they require massive commitments by lawyers and experts, as well as significant technological resources. Congress is already considering additional funding for the federal agencies, but funding for state agencies will enhance the states’ ability to fulfill their obligations as integral partners to the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission and as part of Congress’ plan for protecting competition.
Attorneys General Reyes, James, Weiser, Miller, Peterson, and Paxton, are joined by the attorneys general of Alaska, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, the District of Columbia, and the territories of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and Puerto Rico in sending today’s letter to Congress.