The Business Council’s Statement Regarding the Senate’s Passage of ‘The 21st Century Antitrust Act’


“Today, the New York State Senate passed S.933-A (The 21st Century Antitrust Act), which would dramatically impact the New York economy and its employers, large and small. While touted as a bill targeting large companies, the legislation would instead apply to any company within New York that has a strong position in its local market, including hospitals, tourism services, outlet stores, farms, grocery, convenience stores, manufacturers, and many other businesses. This proposal, passed by the State Senate without any real committee discussions or floor debate, would upend 100 years of established case law and introduce European-style regulation that has no precedent in U.S. antitrust jurisprudence, leaving New York businesses no clear guidance as to what conduct is permissible and what is not. The bill's vague and overbroad language prohibits ordinary and procompetitive business conduct, such as exclusive supply, distribution, and joint venture relationships, even where such conduct benefits consumers. The legislation removes consumer welfare from consideration and focuses wholly on market dominance without defining key terms. Instead of protecting consumers, the bill benefits class-action lawyers, who would be given broad new powers against our local businesses. The legislation will become a tool for competitors to sue one another and will endanger startups or any business first to market with a product or service. The bill will hinder innovation and punishes legitimate business success, with enforcement not based on behavior but by market share alone. Simply put, this bill is bad for business, small and large, bad for consumers, bad for the state's economy, and couldn't come at a worse time.”