Summary of California Law Revision Commission – Study B-750 (Antitrust)
In 2022, the California Legislature authorized the California Law Revision Commission (“CLRC”), which is an independent state agency tasked with examining California law and recommending needed reforms, to evaluate California’s antitrust law, the Cartwright Act. Specifically, the CLRC was asked to study the following issues:
(1) Whether the law should be revised to specifically outlaw monopolies as outlawed by Section 2 of the federal Sherman Act;
(2) Whether, in the context of technology companies, the existing standard for antitrust injury should be broadened;
(3) Whether the law should be revised to allow for California to be involved in the approval of mergers and acquisitions; and
(4) Whether any changes should be made to existing exemptions to California’s antitrust law.
In January 2023, the CLRC committed to conducting its analysis in three work streams. One, the CLRC will attend a series of educational sessions, between January and June 2023, to obtain background information regarding the topics the CLRC is studying. Two, the CLRC will form small working groups on various topics, consisting of antitrust scholars, professors and practitioners, to provide the CLRC with written reports on various topics to inform the CLRC’s deliberations. These reports should be objective, noting the advantages and disadvantages of possible reforms, without advocating for a particular result. Three, along with assistance from California universities, the CLRC will conduct an empirical study of “business concentration” in California.
It is expected that once the CLRC has made preliminary decisions on antitrust law reforms, the CLRC will publish a tentative recommendation for public comment. After the Commission has considered public input on the tentative recommendation, the CLRC is likely to make a final recommendation, which will be delivered to the Legislature and the Governor and then published.
It is unclear when the CLRC’s work in this area will be complete, but you can check back here for updates or go to the CLRC’s Antitrust Law – Study B-750 page, available at http://www.clrc.ca.gov/B750.html.