The order is not final and has not been presented to Biden, the people said.
The White House said Monday the president had not made a decision about signing the order.
“The president made it clear during the campaign that he was committed to increasing competition in the American economy. This includes banning non-compete deals for workers and protecting farmers from misconduct. But at the moment no final decision has been made on any action,” White House spokesman Emily Simons said.
the broadest The order called on two U.S. antitrust agencies, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, to update recommendations on how to investigate corporate mergers. This includes what is known as vertical mergers and acquisitions. which relates to companies that are not directly competitors This often attracts little attention from regulators, such as CVS Pharmacy̵7;s acquisition of health insurer Aetna.
The Obama administration issued a similar order in 2016 that pushed the executive branch to promote competition and consumer access to information. But few agencies have taken concrete action as the order came to the end of former President Barack Obama’s presidency.
Biden’s orders go even further. It includes specific recommendations for actions many agencies should take, such as how federal regulators should review bank agreements. It is likely to suggest that the Department of Transportation review competition at the airport with limited capacity. Other recommendations are aimed at the Department of Agriculture and the Federal Communications Commission.
Efforts to attack monopolies and boost competition have already escalated under Biden, who appointed top tech industry critic Timothy Wu to key economic positions in the White House and tapped antitrust advocate Lina Khan, who called for it. Leaving tech giants like Amazon to head the FTC, Biden has also promoted efforts by local governments to offer residents broadband internet services. A move that would threaten the dominance of carriers such as Verizon and Comcast.
Wu and a number of Obama-era antitrust veterans urged the Biden administration to empower the entire government to focus on competition in a report last year in the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, former CEO Heather Boushey, the group’s former CEO. is a member of Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers.
Wu, who also served as Obama’s adviser. has written about how agencies can use the power to set rules to promote competition
Obama’s 2016 order led the DOT to offer airlines to disclose baggage and change fees before passengers purchase President Donald Trump’s DOT tickets, later killing rulemakers.
Biden’s order defines specific agency policy recommendations as “recommendations” to avoid vexing concerns for both Obama and Trump about improper policy oversight with independent agencies. such as the FCC and the FTC.
Ryan Lizza contributed to this report.