State Antitrust Laws and Enforcement by Attorneys General
Under existing law, state attorneys general are permitted to enforce federal antitrust laws in suits brought on behalf of the state's residents. Additionally, states are permitted to enact and enforce their own state antitrust laws.
Recently, we have seen a flurry of antitrust action on both the federal and state level. In October, the Department of Justice and the attorneys general of 11 states filed a complaint in the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia alleging that Google violated antitrust laws to maintain its dominance in online search and search advertising. Meanwhile, NY continues to lead a large, bipartisan group of state attorneys general in a separate antitrust investigation of Google. Texas is also leading an antitrust investigation targeting Google’s advertising business. California might have its own probe as well.
Our panel of experts discuss antitrust federalism, the complexities of state enforcement actions, and how state antitrust law can differ from federal law (and why that’s potentially a problem). We also delve into the current investigations as well as one of the last major multi-state antitrust actions, Ohio v. American Express.
Paul N. Watkins Managing Director, Patomak Global Partners
Timothy Sandefur Vice President for Litigation, The Goldwater Institute
Ashley Baker (moderator) Director of Public Policy, The Committee for Justice