DES MOINES, IOWA (May 10, 2021) — Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller today joined a bipartisan coalition of 45 attorneys-general in sending a letter to congressional leaders requesting the federal government provide the necessary funding to support state antitrust-enforcement efforts.
“Market concentration harms consumers, farmers, entrepreneurs, and others, and state attorneys-general bring antitrust actions in their interest,” AG Miller said. “Robust antitrust enforcement is crucial to the working of a fair economy.”
State attorneys-general around the country, and from both parties, are leading cutting-edge, resource-intensive antitrust cases against powerful and sophisticated Big Tech firms. Late last year, AG Miller joined a bipartisan coalition of 48 attorneys-general in a lawsuit against Facebook for anticompetitive conduct, as well as a bipartisan coalition of 38 attorneys-general in suing Google on antitrust grounds.
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.
The coalition was led by AG Miller as well as Attorneys-General Letitia James of New York, Phil Weiser of Colorado, Doug Peterson of Nebraska, Ken Paxton of Texas, and Sean Reyes of Utah.
The attorneys-general note 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 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 US Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission and as part of Congress’ plan for protecting competition.
Attorneys-General Miller, James, Weiser, Peterson, Paxton, and Reyes 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.