Opinion | Antitrust Attacks on Private Equity Hurt Consumers

Access to capital and management expertise is essential for fair competition in business. Historically, private-equity firms have played an important role, funding innovation and making U.S. capital markets the envy of the world.

Yet antitrust enforcers at the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department say that these firms—which have cash ready to invest as well as management and financial expertise—are inherently suspect as business owners and should be subjected to heightened antitrust scrutiny. FTC Chairman Lina Khan in June stated that “private equity firms’ business models may in some instances distort incentives in ways that strip productive capacity, degrade the quality of goods and services, and hinder competition.” In a recent address, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Andrew Forman said that because of concerns about private equity, the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division “often looks more favorably on a market participant as a buyer of assets than a private equity firm.”

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