The Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice will host a series of listening forums to hear from those who have experienced firsthand the effects of mergers and acquisitions beyond antitrust experts, including consumers, workers, entrepreneurs, start-ups, farmers, investors, and independent businesses. The four forums will be held virtually over the next three months and helmed by FTC Chair Lina M. Khan and Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Antitrust Division. The link to each webcast will be made public on the day of the event.
The four forums will focus on industries and labor markets that are commonly impacted by mergers that may reduce competition. The dates are as follows:
- Monday, March 28 at 3pm ET – Food and Agriculture
- Thursday, April 14 at 2pm ET – Health Care
- Wednesday, April 27 at 1:30pm ET – Media and Entertainment
- Thursday, May 12 at 2pm ET – Technology
The listening forums will be open to the public, webcast on the FTC’s website, transcribed, posted online, and included as part of the public record.
FTC Chair Lina M. Khan and Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter will attend each event with staff from both agencies. At each event, Chair Khan and Assistant Attorney General Kanter will provide a brief introduction followed by remarks from each speaker.
Speakers will include independent business owners, entrepreneurs, farmers, workers, and other market participants. At the conclusion of the speakers’ remarks, members of the public will have up to two minutes to comment. Speaker registration is full at this time. Due to challenges related to the ongoing COVID-19 public health crisis, these forums will be held virtually.
The forums will supplement the agencies’ recent request for comments on merger enforcement guidelines to ensure that the agencies hear from affected groups who might not otherwise participate in the process. For more information please read the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division joint public inquiry aimed at strengthening enforcement against illegal mergers.
Jonathan Kanter was confirmed on November 17, 2021, as Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division. Throughout his career, Mr. Kanter has been a leading advocate for strong and meaningful antitrust enforcement and competition policy. Mr. Kanter has been a partner in the Washington, D.C. offices of two national law firms and was the founder of a boutique antitrust law firm dedicated to promoting antitrust enforcement. Mr. Kanter began his career as an attorney for the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition. He earned his J.D. from Washington University in St. Louis and his B.A. from State University of New York at Albany.
Joe Thon started working for St Joe Regional Medical Center in July of 2005. He is a registered nurse for the hospital. Mr. Thon has critical care experience and post anesthesia care experience.
Kelley Tyler is a trauma care registered nurse at Mission Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina where she has worked since 1985, and is a proud member of the National Nurses Organizing Committee, an affiliate of National Nurses United. Her passion for patient advocacy and her solidarity with her fellow RNs compelled her to take an instrumental role in the successful union organizing drive at Mission Hospital in 2020 following the purchase of her hospital by HCA Healthcare Inc., the largest hospital corporation in the world, the previous year. Ms. Tyler is proud of her role on the NNOC/NNU negotiation team that led Mission RNs to win the first-ever RN union contract in a private sector hospital in the state of North Carolina.
Dr. Michael Shapiro is a Harvard-trained General Surgeon with over 30 years of expertise in Kidney and Pancreas transplantation, and the surgery of patients with renal failure and diabetes. He is an active attending at University Hospital in Newark, NJ, a Professor of Surgery at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and an Associate Scholar in the Center for Population-Level Bioethics.
Dr. Mitchell Louis Judge Li is a practicing board certified emergency physician at Cherokee Indian Hospital, a natively-owned, IHS-supported hospital, and founder of Take Medicine Back, an advocacy organization to take medicine back from corporate control and restore the patient-physician relationship. Dr. Li earned his medical degree from the University of Massachusetts Medical School in 2013 and completed his emergency medicine residency at St. John Hospital in Detroit, MI in 2017. He currently lives in a tiny home in the mountains of Western North Carolina. He runs a small direct-care practice, inspired by the Direct Primary Care movement, allowing him to practice "old fashioned medicine" with transparent pricing to uninsured and underinsured individuals. He is pursuing a simplified life that allows him to speak and advocate freely.
Madelaine Feldman MD is a rheumatologist in private practice with The Rheumatology Group in New Orleans, LA, and President of the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations. She lectures extensively on the drug supply channel, particularly the effect that formulary construction and utilization management tools have on pricing and access to drugs. Dr. Feldman is honored to be the recipient of the American College of Rheumatology's inaugural Innovation in Clinical Care award in 2021, and in addition to receiving the Distinguished Service Award for Tulane Medical School, she is the past Chair of the Alliance for Safe Biologic Medicines and past member of the American College of Rheumatology insurance subcommittee.
Ty Beringer is a Type 1 Diabetic and insulin accessibility advocate based in Northwest Arkansas. His experiences with insulin rationing, medical supply denial, and emergency care have informed his views on the issues surrounding diabetes care in the United States.
Michele Belcher is an independent pharmacist who operates Grants Pass Pharmacy which has been in the community since 1933 and is the last remaining independent pharmacy in the area. The pharmacy specializes in non-sterile compounding, hospice, long-term care, and offers multiple adherence packaging systems as well as offering the community an old-fashioned soda fountain and an extensive gift area. Ms. Belcher is an adviser for the entrepreneurial academy at OSU College of Pharmacy, is active in state legislation, and active in her state pharmacy coalition and state association.
Dr. Bled Tanoe PharmaD is a Hospital Inpatient Pharmacist in Oklahoma City; prior to that position she practiced in a community pharmacy for 5 years. She left this work when she felt her oath to protect her patients, retail pharmacists and technicians was threatened. Dr Tanoe saw an opportunity to use her voice and make the issues known by starting the campaign, #PizzaIsNotWorking, to shine the light on the poor working conditions in retail pharmacies and the attempts of employers to address the issues through ineffective avenues such as food, gift cards or flair days.
Lina M. Khan was sworn in as Chair of the Federal Trade Commission on June 15, 2021. Prior to becoming head of the FTC, Khan was an Associate Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. She also previously served as counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, legal adviser to FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra, and legal director at the Open Markets Institute. Khan’s scholarship on antitrust and competition policy has been published in the Columbia Law Review, Harvard Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, and Yale Law Journal. She is a graduate of Williams College and Yale Law School.
2:00-2:05 pm Opening Remarks
Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter
Department of Justice for the Antitrust Division
2:05-2:45 pm Invited Speakers 2:45-2:55 pm Reactions
Lina Khan Chair, Federal Trade Commission
Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter, Department of Justice for the Antitrust Division
2:55-3:25 pm Public Comment 3:25 –3:30 pm Closing Remarks
Chair Lina Khan
Federal Trade Commission
Transcript - Files