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September 6, 2023

The Honorable Lina Khan Chairman
Federal Trade Commission 
600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW 
Washington, DC 20580

Dear Chairwoman Khan:

We write today concerned about your recent announcement of a new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) policy on mergers and acquisitions.

We urge you and the Federal Trade Commission to let capitalism work.

As published, your “Thirteen Commandments” represent a paradigm shift away from the consumer welfare standard – which the FTC has used for decades – to one that treats every normal business merger and acquisition in a hostile way. This is a significant change, especially when coupled with the FTC’s collusion with foreign regulators, concocted and embracing of discredited legal theories, as well as ignoring commitments from merging businesses aimed at ensuring a fair playing field. This effectively means that there is no merger which could pass muster. Your misguided policies have been rejected by the courts, and we urge you to heed their message by turning back to the rule of law and decades of precedent.

The result of your “Thirteen Commandments,” if implemented in full, would be an overly interventionist government approach that risks thwarting U.S. innovation. Mergers and acquisitions are a vital strategic move for companies and a valuable exit strategy for innovators. The aggressive anti-merger and acquisition posture of the FTC and Department of Justice is already having negative impacts. Just $12 billion in exit value was realized by startups in 2023 – a decade low. Overall merger activity is also at historic lows, with 2022 seeing a 41% drop from 2021. This trend has continued in 2023, seeing a year-over- year drop of 30% in the second quarter of this year. These changes also risk dampening the current alignment of US companies absent FTC permission. Such an approach would have devastating effects on consumers across the board and in every area of the American economy.

Without the efficiencies of businesses merging, splitting, and merging again, we would lose much of the world-class innovation we have come to expect across the varied industries of the U.S. economy. A permissive approach to competition policy is a central pillar of our economic system, which has enabled our economy to double in size since the mid-1990s. Presidents and FTC commissioners from both parties have enabled this growth and resisted overly restrictive merger oversight rules.

We urge you to retire the “Thirteen Commandments,” as well as your other novel and overreaching actions, and return to the agency’s longstanding consumer welfare standard of oversight.



Ryan Ellis
Center for a Free Economy

Charles Sauer 
Market Institute

Grover Norquist 
Americans for Tax Reform

Adam Brandon 

Pete Sepp
National Taxpayers Union

David McIntosh 
Club For Growth

John Goodman 
Goodman Institute

Wayne Brough
R Street Institute

Brent Garder
Americans for Prosperity

Angela McCardle 
Libertarian National Commitee

John Tamny 
Parkview Institute

Jessica Melugin 
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Carrie Lukas 
Independent Women’s Forum

Jenny Beth Martin
Tea Party Patriots Action

Steve Moore 
Commitee to Unleash Prosperity

Andrew Langer 
Institute for Liberty

Phil Kerpen
American Commitment

Karen Kerrigan
Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

Lisa B. Nelson 

Jim Martin 
60 Plus

Saul Anuzis
American Association of Senior Citizens

Daniel J. Mitchell 
Center for Freedom and Prosperity

Ed Martin
Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund

Jim Edwards 
Conservative for Property Rights

David Williams 
Taxpayer Protection Alliance

Donna Jackson 
Project 21

Rick Manning 
Americans For Limited Government

George Landrith 
Frontiers of Freedom

Mathew Kandrach 
Consumer Action for a Strong Economy

Kevin Kearns
US Business and Industry Council

Patrick Brenner 
Southwest Public Policy Institute

Tom Hebert
Open Competion Center

James Erwin 
Digital Liberty

Bartlet Cleland 
Innovation Economy Alliance

Hannah Cox 
Based Politics

Joshua Delano 
Southeast Texans for Liberty

Larry Ward 
Constitutional Rights PAC

James Golden 
New Journey PAC

Ralph Benko 
Capitalist League

Jeff Cargerman 
Inventors Project

Julie Cho
Our America PAC

Tom Norton 
America First PAC

George T. Farrell 
Blak PAC

C. Preston Noell III 
Tradition, Family, Property

Jeff Mazzella
Center for Individual Freedom

Norm Singleton 
US Policy

Kent Kaiser
Trade Alliance to Promote Prosperity

Casey Given 
Young Voices

Bret Healy
MacIver Institute for Public Policy

Tom Giovanetti 
Institute for Policy Innovation

Hadley Heath Manning 
Independent Women’s Voice

Richard Walker 
Benjamin Rush Institute

Julio Rivera 
Reactionary Times

Jason Savage 
Maine GOP

Chuck Muth 
Citizen Outreach

Palmer Schoenig
Family Business Coalition

Gene Mills
Louisianna Family Forum

Donny Ferguson 
Americans for a Beter Economy

Chris Widener 
Hamilton County Conservatives

Rob Maness 
Gator PAC

Lisa Cathie 
Maga Black

Terry Neese 
National Grassroots Network

Paul Gessing
Rio Grande Foundation

Mario H. Lopez
Hispanic Leadership Fund

Paul Steidler Lexington Institute

Dick Paten 
American Business Defense Council

Ryan McGowan 
Institute for Legislative Analysis

Edward Longe
James Madison Institute

Art Hartman 
Conservative Caucus

Dave Wallace 
Restore America’s Mission