It’s time to revive and reform antitrust laws.
The Main Street Competition Coalition is a coalition of main street businesses and agriculture producers that are committed to promoting competition and reviving and and reforming the Robinson-Patman Act. We advocate for antitrust policies that ensure a level playing field for the benefit of both business and consumers.
Antitrust enforcement is not just a Big Tech issue.
Price discrimination, channel discrimination and exclusionary conduct that dominant firms use to limit competition are illegal under existing laws like the Robinson-Patman Act. These laws need to be updated and enforced to encourage competition across industries.
We are committed to increasing competition in retail and wholesale markets and giving consumers real choice. We are pushing for vigorous enforcement of the existing antitrust laws, like the Robinson-Patman Act, a law that prohibits economic discrimination but has not been enforced in more than 20 years. We are calling for Congress and the FTC to reassert the goals of the Robinson-Patman Act to prohibit anticompetitive vertical conduct that restricts competition, harms agriculture producers and limits consumer choice.
Restore a Free and Fair Marketplace
We plan to work with industries and businesses affected by abuses of market power to advocate for government solutions that restore a competitive marketplace throughout all sectors of the US economy.
The FTC should investigate anticompetitive vertical conduct between retailers and suppliers to determine whether monopolistic behavior of dominant firms result in economic discrimination that harms smaller rivals and consumers.
This should include the important issue of whether “channels of trade” distinctions are being used to evade laws against economic discrimination. In this and other inquiries, the FTC should look beyond price effects to include other dimensions of competition, including impacts on quality, service and convenience as a result of economic discrimination and increasing consolidation.
The FTC should use its authority under the Robinson-Patman Act to bring enforcement actions against anti-competitive economic discrimination. Congress should pursue rigorous oversight of the antitrust enforcement agencies to ensure that existing laws are being enforced.
The law is clear: The federal government should not allow dominant players to manipulate markets to the detriment of competition, American consumers and agriculture producers.
Congress should consider legislative reforms to existing antitrust laws that restrain buyer-side market power, prohibit anti-competitive economic discrimination and reflect a holistic consumer welfare standard.
These updates should be based on thorough investigations, studies and input from affected organizations and consumers.
Support the Coalition
Membership to the Main Street Competition Coalition is open to organizations and businesses supportive of the coalition’s policy goals and objectives. Individuals, academics, and antitrust practitioners are also welcome to participate in the coalition’s advocacy. To inquire further, please contact us.
The National Grocers Association’s Fund for Fair Competition is accepting contributions to help finance the coalition’s legal, advocacy, and public relations activities. To find out more, please contact us or make an online donation.
- Bipartisan House of Representatives Letter to the FTC – March 30, 2022
- Main Street Competition Coalition’s Open Letter to the FTC – October 27, 2021
- MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION | Main Street Competition Coalition
News & Stories
Recent coverage of the coalition or related news.
Main Street Business Coalition Endorses Bipartisan Bill Examining Anticompetitive Harms to Small Business ￼
Washington, D.C. – Two bipartisan members of the House Small Business Committee have introduced the Main Street Competes Act of 2022, which would expand the mission of the Small Business Administration to promote competitive markets, consumer choice and...
ANALYSIS: Is This the Robinson–Patman Act’s Moment?
Last week, 43 members of the House of Representatives urged the Federal Trade Commission to return to enforcing a law they haven’t used in more than 20 years: the Robinson-Patman Act. This complex law forbids sellers to favor one buyer over another in...
43 Members of Congress Call on FTC to Address Economic Discrimination
Bipartisan letter requests Federal Trade Commission investigate and bring enforcement actions against discriminatory conduct that violates the antitrust laws Washington, D.C. – A bipartisan coalition from the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter yesterday to...
How an Old U.S. Antitrust Law Could Foster a Fairer Retail Sector
Antitrust is having a moment. Last summer, President Joe Biden issued an ambitious executive order with 72 directives and recommendations to his administration to “promote competition in the American economy.” Now, Congress seems poised to enact one or more...
Retail Industry 2021 Year in Review: FTC Studying Supply Chain Disruption, With Orders to Nine￼
Supply chain disruptions have been front-page news throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. From the beginning when Americans began stockpiling basic items like sanitizer and toilet paper, to current shortages caused by increased consumer products spending and shipping...
Antitrust Is Good for Main Street Businesses
Regarding Noah Joshua Phillips and Joshua D. Wright’s op-ed “As Inflation Rises, Antitrust ‘Reformers’ Target Lower Prices” (Dec. 21): During the darkest days of the pandemic, we rediscovered the important role of Main Street businesses in our communities. Yet when...
Small business coalition urges FTC to enforce antitrust law
Independent grocers, pharmacies, restaurants, convenience stores and farmers launched a coalition Thursday urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to enforce antitrust laws on dominant firms such as Walmart and Amazon. ...
Fighting the Big Grocery Monopoly
In March, the National Grocers Association (NGA), a trade association representing independent grocery stores, released a white paper detailing the ways dominant retailers abuse their market power over suppliers and marginalize small grocers. The pandemic exacerbated...
Big Retail Tightens Its Grip
A month ago I went into a local small business in my Los Angeles suburb to buy a “big girl” bike for my daughter. The couple blocks of shops are apparently so good at aping the main streets of middle American small towns that camera crews film there at least once a...
Why small grocery stores are (still) out of toilet paper
Small grocers say there's a reason their shelves are still relatively bare. Major suppliers of consumer products, faced with limited supply and high demand, are prioritizing their biggest retail customers like Walmart (WMT) and Amazon (AMZN), according to the trade...