Blawgletter's favorite source of business news — The Wall Street Journal – today presents a longish item on antitrust enforcement — "U.S. Trustbusters Try to Reclaim Decades of Lost Ground".
The piece notes three recent cases in which the Supreme Court has lately rejected antitrust claims (Trinko, Twombly, and Leegin).
It also points to halting efforts by the Obama administration to reverse the trend.
We say halting because, as WSJ observes, the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice have so far waved through each merger they've reviewed for anticompetitive effects. Yes, they've put more conditions on the okays than the Bush enforcement agencies would have. But neither the FTC nor the AD has sued to block a deal since Obama took office a year ago.
What about Congress? The Democrats aim to reverse Twombly (which created a "plausibility" requirement for pleading and applied it to a section 1 conspiracy claim) and Leegin (which killed a century-old per se claim for resale price maintenance). Whether they succeed remains up in the air.