The Antitrust Racket

Check out this blog from initium:

In 1977, Congress passed the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, a law intended to make life easier for FTC and Antitrust Division officials in deciding which mergers to prosecute and stop. Under HSR, all mergers worth at least a certain value (approximately $50 million under the current law) must be reported to the government prior to consummation. This “pre-merger notification” grants the government a waiting period to decide whether they wish to act against the merger. In most cases, the waiting period is terminated early, and no official action is taken. In a handful of cases-less than 2%-the FTC or Antitrust Division will seek conditions to allow the merger or attempt to stop it outright. Such official action generally results in a “consent agreement,” where the merging companies agree to surrender a portion of their assets to a third-party chosen by the government.

Every Hart-Scott-Rodino “notification” must be accompanied by a filing fee. For mergers valued at less than $100 million, the fee is $45,000; for mergers of more than $500 million, the price is $280,000. The fee is non-refundable, and the monies collected from said fees are what finance the $330-plus million of the FTC and Antitrust Division budgets not financed by direct appropriation.

In other words, the government is forcing businesses to pay for the very antitrust enforcement that is targeted directly against their interests. This is a classic racketeering scheme. A business is forced to pay protection money to a thug who could turn against them at any time.

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