MONTH-IN-BRIEF (Oct 2021)
Senate Proposal Opens the Door for Increase in State Attorneys General Antitrust Lawsuits
By Barbara Sicalides, Troutman Pepper Hamilton Sanders LLP
On September 23, 2021, the U.S. Senate advanced legislation that puts all businesses at risk of defending antitrust lawsuits across different jurisdictions at the same time. Senate Bill 1787 (S. 1787)—the Antitrust Enforcement Venue Act of 2021—prevents defendants from transferring and consolidating antitrust lawsuits brought by state attorneys general to a different venue. This regulatory action is part of a broader legislative scheme that seeks to target giant tech monopolies and streamline litigation for state prosecutors. This legislation has been the subject of a recent push by states for more authority in this space. If enacted, S. 1787 would allow states to challenge allegedly anticompetitive activity at all levels of commerce, placing businesses of all sizes at greater risk of state antitrust litigation. S. 1787 would allow states to choose the venue in which they challenge alleged anticompetitive conduct, increasing the cost and risk of antitrust litigation across different jurisdictions for businesses of all sizes.