Antitrust law: The next stakeholder capitalism battleground? | Fortune

[S]ome reformers have called to replace the “consumer welfare” standard with “effective competition,” using antitrust to “protect” market participants throughout the supply chain, including workers. Others propose that enforcers seek “stakeholder remedies,” such as changes to corporate governance, as part of antitrust enforcement. 

Need to clear that merger? Fork over a few board seats to this union, or negotiate with that cartel of suppliers—and you’re good to go. While some corporate governance arrangements have always raised antitrust concerns—for example, trusts, or managers sitting on the boards of competitors—this is new ground for antitrust and corporate law. The stakeholder approach would use antitrust to accomplish what shareholders did not sign up for, what many officers and directors have not seen fit to implement, and what state capitols and Congress have failed to legislate. It’s a dramatic change without a democratic mandate, shareholder or otherwise. And it’s a bad idea for other reasons as well.

Antitrust law: The next stakeholder capitalism battleground? | Fortune

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