NBC News first reported the bill, which is expected to be introduced today and be called the “Pandemic Anti-Monopoly Act.”
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The bill would apply to businesses with more than $100 million in revenue or firms that have a market capitalization of more than $100 million. It would also apply to hedge funds, private equity companies, and companies that have patents on products used during the pandemic.
It would cover those businesses until the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) “determines that small businesses, workers, and consumers are no longer under severe financial distress,” NBC News reports, according a summary of the bill it obtained.
“As we fight to save livelihoods and lives during the coronavirus pandemic, giant corporations and private equity vultures are just waiting for a chance to gobble up struggling small businesses and increase their power through predatory mergers,” Warren said in a statement. “We’re introducing legislation to protect workers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and families from being squeezed even more by harmful mergers during this crisis and any future national emergency.”
Similarly, Ocasio-Cortez called the bill “desperately needed,” and pointed to reports that Rite Aid and private equity are looking to “scoop up smaller businesses and consolidate industry for their gains.”
“These companies should be using their cash reserves to help their employees not to acquire more power,” the New York representative said in a statement. “If we don’t stop predatory M&As now, the actions of big corporations will have decades-long economic consequences—for all of us. With less competition, the whole country will see job loss and higher costs for consumers.”
You can read all of the NBC News report here.