Benjamin Sirota Discusses the Expanding Scope of Antitrust Enforcement with The Hollywood Reporter

July 29, 2022

Publication: The Hollywood Reporter

Historically, federal antitrust enforcement has typically been considered through the lens of consumers, but that is beginning to change as antitrust regulators focus on labor dynamics as well. Kobre & Kim’s Benjamin Sirota, a former prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) antitrust division, commented to The Hollywood Reporter.

A November DOJ lawsuit against ViacomCBS to prevent the combining of the world’s largest book publisher Penguin Random House and fourth largest U.S. book publisher Simon & Schuster rests on how the merger will impact negotiations between authors and publishers. This indicates that the DOJ’s sole focus on consumer welfare is starting to change. Antitrust regulators have recently been signaling that they will take into consideration labor exploitation, acquisition history and even supply chain resiliency when investigating potentially anticompetitive behavior, with potential impacts far beyond the publishing industry.

“There’s more risk for companies across the board, because the areas that the government says they’ll look into and the basis the government says they’ll challenge deals [on] have expanded,” Mr. Sirota told The Hollywood Reporter.

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