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The Honorable Mike DeWine
United States Senator
Thank you Senator Kohl for holding this hearing, and thank you for the leadership that you have provided as Chairman of the Antitrust Subcommittee. I commend you for the bipartisan manner in which this Subcommittee operates. Over the years, we have agreed on many issues, disagreed on some others, but this Subcommittee has been productive because we always have been able to work very closely together. I look forward to continuing that work.
Before I get to the rest of my statement, I also would like to thank the Chairman and our witnesses for their flexibility in starting today's hearing a little bit early.
We are pleased to welcome Assistant Attorney General Charles James of the Antitrust Division and Chairman Tim Muris of the Federal Trade Commission to the hearing today. I appreciate the leadership that you both have provided to your respective agencies, and I look forward to continuing our work together, as we have worked with the Antitrust Division and the FTC in the past.
Nonetheless, as Senator Kohl has stated, vigorous antitrust enforcement remains vitally important to creating and maintaining a competitive environment that will benefit our economy. In fact, in these times of corporate scandal and economic uncertainty, it is even more important that companies compete vigorously, effectively, and fairly.
The Antitrust Division and the FTC are, of course, essential to making sure that happens, and I join Senator Kohl in urging both agencies to continue actively enforcing our antitrust laws -- something I know you both agree is quite important.
I'd like to briefly address two issues that I feel are particularly important. The first is the ongoing consolidation that we are seeing in the entertainment, news, and media industries. I have expressed concern about concentration in these industries in the past, and I remain concerned about it today. This concentration raises particularly important public policy questions that go beyond the traditional antitrust analysis.
While such arrangements differ from full-fledged mergers, they often have significant competitive impact, and require similar, vigorous scrutiny from the antitrust agencies.
Since these arrangements do not fall under the auspices of the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, the agencies are not required to examine them under the statutory merger timelines. Despite the lack of statutory timelines, it is important that the agencies review these arrangements within reasonable time periods, without of course sacrificing careful, thorough, economically sound analysis.