Loyola University Chicago

Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies

School of Law

Bush Administration gets a "C" for Antitrust Enforcement


Bush Adminsitration gets a "C" for Antitrust Enforcement

CHICAGO (Oct. 9, 2002) - The Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies at Loyola University Chicago School of Law gave the Bush administration a "C" on its mid-term report card for antitrust enforcement at a meeting of the institute's Advisory Board on Monday, Oct. 7.

The Advisory Board discussed the administration's nearly two years of enforcement relating to the nation's competition laws in five categories of cases: criminal, mergers, civil non-merger, international and the Federal Trade Commission. The highest mark in any category, a "B-plus" went to the Federal Trade Commission.

The highest grade awarded to the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department was a "B- minus" in the category of criminal enforcement of the antitrust laws. Its lowest grade was a "D- plus" for its handling of the Microsoft case and other civil antitrust matters. The division eked out a "C" for merger enforcement and a "C-minus" for its handling of international antitrust issues.

Loyola law professor Spencer Weber Waller, director of the antitrust institute, said the overall grade for the administration indicates more needs to be done to enforce the antitrust laws. "The Bush administration has barely earned a passing grade for antitrust because it has failed to vigorously enforce antitrust law in most areas to the detriment of the economy and consumers," Waller said.

The institute issued the report card to stress the importance of vigilance over antitrust matters and to publicize government activity in this vital area of law, Waller said. The institute will issue a report card every other year, with the next report card due out in 2004.

Founded in 1993 with a grant from the U.S. District Court from settlement funds stemming from class action antitrust litigation, the institute is a non-partisan independent academic center designed to explore the impact of antitrust law enforcement on individual consumers and the public. The institute promotes a comprehensive and inclusive view of the benefits of competition law and policy.

Members of the institute's advisory board consists of prominent experts in antitrust and consumer protection issues from government agencies, private practice and academia who assist Waller and his staff in developing programs for the institute. Individual board members do not assume responsibility for positions taken by the institute. For more information about the institute and the report card, please visit www.luc.edu/antitrust or call Waller at 312-915-7137.