Rep. Buck Introduces the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act
WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) introduced H.R. 3460, the State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act of 2021, that would ensure state attorneys general are able to remain in the court they select rather than having their cases moved to a court the defendant prefers. Rep. Buck’s legislation is cosponsored by Reps: Cicilline (D-R.I.), Bishop (R-N.C.), Owens (R-Utah), and Neguse (D-Colo.).
Under current law, antitrust enforcement actions filed by the United States cannot be transferred via a process run by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML). This carveout from the JPML process ensures that the United States gets to remain in the court it selected and guarantees the United States retains its homefield advantage in the litigation. It also ensures the United States’ litigation moves quickly because it is not able to be combined with any similar case brought by private plaintiffs, which traditionally runs much more slowly because of the various competing interests in the litigation.
Conversely, states that file antitrust cases under the federal antitrust laws do not get this same benefit. They are subject to the JPML process and therefore they do not get to remain in their chosen court, resulting in serious delays in their cases and additional injuries to the citizens of their states.
“Rep. Buck continues to lead the fight on behalf of American consumers against Big Tech’s anticompetitive behavior. Big Tech monopolists have nearly unlimited resources and shouldn’t be able to game the judicial system to shield themselves from legal and regulatory scrutiny. This is a matter fairness, accountability and the rule of law. Republicans in Congress should join Rep. Buck in this effort to help states reclaim their right to defend themselves from Big Tech’s abuses.” – Mike Davis, Founder and President, Internet Accountability Project
“We applaud Rep. Buck for introducing this bill to sharpen antitrust enforcement nationwide. States must be given a proper role in pursuing cases in the interests of their citizens. This bill ensures that states' unique set of resources and insights, which can facilitate the best outcomes in complex antitrust cases, receive their due deference from the federal courts." – Russ Vought, President of Citizens for Renewing America
Rep. Buck released the following statement concerning this piece of legislation:
“States play a critical role in enforcing federal antitrust laws and should have the same benefit that is already afforded to federal antitrust enforcers – to select and remain in their preferred venue.
Through this legislation, many of the inefficiencies and obstacles the states face in enforcing the federal antitrust laws will be eliminated, resulting in quicker resolution for the citizens of those states,” Rep. Buck said.
The State Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act of 2021 bill text can be viewed here.