The following post was originally included as part of our recently published memorandum “Selected Issues for Boards of Directors in 2024”.

Antitrust in 2023 was marked by a series of policy developments—some still nascent, some ripe for enforcement for the first time.  In the U.S., the FTC and DOJ finalized their drastically transformed merger guidelines.  In the EU, landmark new digital regulations became applicable for the first time.  And the UK government introduced a bill promising major new digital and consumer protection rules. 

Last year we noted that U.S. antitrust enforcement was in a period of nearly unprecedented public attention and policy debate, and also that the Biden Administration seemed likely to launch significant new policy initiatives as the year progressed. 

In the 2021 edition of this memo, we wrote that antitrust in 2020 received more political and media attention than at any recent time. 2021 beat that standard in multiple ways, and 2022 looks to continue that trend. In addition to continuing the major tech cases brought under the Trump administration, 2021 saw unprecedented levels of legislative activity in antitrust (both federal and state), competition policy taking a leading position across federal agencies and startling new approaches at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in particular – new approaches that, while they haven’t yet produced a wave of new enforcement actions, have required changes in thinking about and approaching antitrust issues. We expect these trends to accelerate in 2022.