Biden’s Executive Order on Competition: A Quick Rundown

In seeking to protect workers and consumers from what his administration views as the harmful consequences of corporate consolidation, President Biden is enlisting support from regulators across the executive branch in what the White House has described as an overarching, “whole-of-government” effort.

As part of the executive order Mr. Biden signed on Friday, the White House is asking more than a dozen federal agencies for input and action on 72 initiatives designed to increase competition and limit the power of large corporations across a wide range of industries. The order takes aim at a number of highly specific practices the White House has identified as problematic in sectors as diverse as agriculture, health care, transportation and technology.

It calls on the Department of Transportation to create rules requiring airlines to refund fees when baggage is lost or delayed, or when services like in-flight Wi-Fi aren’t provided. It directs the Department of Health and Human Services to propose rules within 120 days allowing hearing aids to be sold over the counter. And it encourages the Federal Trade Commission to curb the power of farm equipment manufacturers who often block farmers from repairing their own appliances.

It directs the Federal Communications Commission to bar internet companies from charging consumers termination fees when they switch providers. And it asks the Agriculture Department to prevent meatpacking companies from underpaying chicken farmers.

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