Reed Smith In-depth

Key takeaways

  • The past three years of the Biden Administration have significantly altered the antitrust merger enforcement landscape in the United States.
  • Between the anticipated revised HSR rules and the evolving investigations landscape, it will be even more important for parties expecting to be before the antitrust agencies this year to begin planning for a potential investigation well in advance of a filing.

As the administration and its key antitrust enforcers enter the final year of this term, we look back at the biggest developments in 2023 and discuss what to expect in 2024.


The Biden administration moved swiftly to set the tone for antitrust and competition policy during this term. In July 2021, President Biden issued Executive Order 14036, “Promoting Competition in the American Economy,” setting forth 72 initiatives designed to address competition issues within the U.S. economy. The message was clear: U.S. antitrust enforcement was going to increase significantly and break new ground on combinations alleged to harm competition. The President encouraged the newly appointed leadership within the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (together, the Agencies) to review the existing merger guidelines and consider revising them to “address the consolidation of industry in many markets across the economy.” Accordingly, FTC Chair Lina Khan entered office in June 2021 with the mandate to dramatically transform merger enforcement. The assistant attorney general of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, Jonathan Kanter, a known critic of big tech, also entered office, in November 2021, as an advocate for significant reforms to the antitrust laws.