Friday’s executive order signed by President Joe Biden targeted anticompetitive practices within tech, health care, and other areas of the economy. It declared that it would strengthen America’s ideal “that true capitalism relies on fair and open competition.”
Biden stated that the broad order contains 72 recommendations and actions. But, any new regulations that Biden’s policy agencies might create to implement it into laws could lead to major legal disputes.
The order calls for banning noncompete agreements to boost wages. It also allows rule changes to allow hearing aids to go over-the-counter at drugstores, and prohibits excessive early termination fees from internet companies. The Transportation Department is asked to issue rules that require airlines to refund fees if baggage is delayed or if in-flight services do not meet advertised specifications.
Biden spoke at a White House ceremony and said that instead of competing for consumers, they consume their competitors. Rather than compete for workers, they find ways to get the upper hand in labor.
“Let me make it clear: Capitalism is not capitalism without competition. He said that it was exploitation.
According to the White House, Biden’s order is in keeping with past presidents who took steps to reduce corporate power. Theodore Roosevelt’s administration dismantled powerful trusts that held a large share of the economy’s wealth, including Standard Oil and J.P. Morgan’s railroads. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration increased antitrust enforcement during the 1930s.
Experts pointed out that Biden’s expansive presidential initiative is not a mandate for competition.
Daniel Crane, an antitrust law professor at the University of Michigan, said that this is more of a blueprint than an executive order. “This policy agenda is very ambitious and broad for the Biden administration. It offers many insights into the administration’s direction, priorities, and policies. But there may be some slippage between the cup of the lips and the cup.”