On July 9, the White House issued an executive order (EO) that will direct more than a dozen federal agencies to implement rules aimed at reducing corporate concentration and expanding opportunity for independent businesses, farmers, workers, and consumers. Small and independent business are critical to creating vibrant communities. They invest more per sales dollar in their local economy, supporting local philanthropies, events, schools, and teams. They are less taxing on local infrastructure and provide unique services and goods relevant to their service area. This EO is a great step towards leveling the playing field to help independent businesses.
The EO consists of 72 specific provisions with the specific goal of creating fairness and opportunity for independent business including:
- Procurement– Increase opportunities for small businesses by directing all federal agencies to promote greater competition through their procurement and spending decisions.
- Undoing bad mergers– Calls on the leading antitrust agencies, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Trade Commission (FTC), to enforce the antitrust laws vigorously and recognizes that the law allows them to challenge prior bad mergers that past Administrations did not previously challenge.
- Antitrust enforcers should focus on food, drug, and tech markets— Announces a policy that enforcement should focus in particular on labor markets, agricultural markets, healthcare markets (which includes prescription drugs, hospital consolidation, and insurance), and the tech sector.
- Policy of greater scrutiny of mergers especially in tech— Announces an Administration policy of greater scrutiny of mergers, especially by dominant internet platforms.
- Big Tech platforms unfairly competing with small businesses: The large platforms’ power gives them unfair opportunities to get a leg up on the small businesses that rely on them to reach customers.
- Encourages the FTC to establish rules barring unfair methods of competition on internet marketplaces.
- Encourages greater scrutiny of bank mergers to protect small business lending.