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BCW Joins with Group to Oppose Antitrust Law

The Business Council of Westchester has joined with more than 50 business leaders and legal experts statewide in opposition to the state’s proposed antitrust legislation. In a letter to Governor Hochul and New York State Legislators, the group outlined the potential damage New York City and New York State that would result from enacting antitrust legislation currently pending in the state Legislature (S.933A/A.1812A).

“This legislation purports to curb the excesses of the largest companies, particularly ‘big tech,’ but would instead create a new level of risk, cost, and potential liability for all New York state businesses, large and small. It would diverge from federal antitrust law and establish a new standard in this country for what constitutes a monopoly,” the group said.

“If enacted, this law would make New York far less attractive for business investment and job creation, since it will put restrictions on New York firms that their competitors in other states and most countries would not be subject to. It would also discourage competitive business activities that benefit consumers with lower prices and innovative products. Ultimately, the result of this legislation will be lost jobs and reduced tax revenues,” the group added.

The group outlined specific ways in which this legislation would harm New York businesses and consumers:

It would impose two competing and independent standards on New York businesses—the well understood “monopolization” standard reflected in U.S. federal law, and a new, “abuse of dominance” standard never before adopted in any U.S. jurisdiction.

The legislation would encourage frivolous litigation by authorizing expensive private class actions and subjecting businesses to triple damages.

The legislation provides for criminal penalties, including imprisonment for up to four years for monopolization and corporate penalties of up to $100 million. Instead of protecting consumers, these enhanced penalties, combined with imprecise legal standards, would chill competition, innovation and the willingness of companies to come to New York.

“New York City is America’s global business and financial capital. This proposed legislation puts that status at risk, at the same time as the state is seeking to recover jobs lost during the pandemic. We strongly urge that you reject these bills in the best interests of the residents, consumers, employers and employees of New York state.”

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