Overnight Finance

On The Money — US regulators go after illegal mergers

Happy Tuesday and welcome to On The Money, your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.

Today’s Big Deal: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice’s antitrust division have launched a new inquiry aimed at updating guidelines to block illegal mergers. We’ll also look at the Supreme Court’s recent rejection of a request to block a federal mask mandate for air travel.

But first, check out the massive asteroid passing by Earth today. 

For The Hill, we’re Sylvan Lane (slane@thehill.com), Aris Folley (afolley@thehill.com) and Karl Evers-Hillstrom (kevers@thehill.com).

Let’s get to it.

Feds launch inquiry amid surge in mergers

The FTC and Department of Justice’s antitrust division on Tuesday launched a new inquiry aimed at updating guidelines to block illegal mergers.

The agencies are seeking public input to update guidelines over the next 60 days.

“Illegal mergers can inflict a host of harms, from higher prices and lower wages to diminished opportunity, reduced innovation and less resiliency,” FTC Chair Lina Khan said in a statement. 

The announcement Tuesday is one of the first major collaborations between Khan and Kanter, two nominees of President Biden who were strongly backed by progressives. 

The Hill’s Chris Mills Rodrigo has more here.

 

TRADING TROUBLES

Two-thirds of Americans support banning lawmakers from trading stocks: poll 

Sixty-seven percent of Americans support banning lawmakers from trading stocks, according to a new poll from progressive firm Data for Progress.

The poll, released on Tuesday, found that figure increased to 74 percent when respondents were given arguments for and against a ban.

Seventy-five percent of Democrats said they strongly or somewhat support a ban on lawmaker stock trading alongside 76 percent of independents and 70 percent of Republicans. 

Several lawmakers, including Sens. Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.), Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) recently introduced bills to prevent members of Congress from trading stocks. 

Read more here from The Hill’s Olafimihan Oshin. 

Court rejects bid to block plane mask mandate

The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a request to block a federal mask mandate for air travel.  

The emergency application was filed by a father on behalf of himself and his 4-year-old autistic son, both of whom claim to be medically incapable of wearing masks for extended periods.  

Their request was filed to Justice Neil Gorsuch, who handles emergency applications arising in several Western states, and he referred the matter to the full court. The justices denied the request without comment or noted dissent. 

The court’s move comes less than a week after the justices issued a split decision on another set of Biden administration pandemic mitigation measures. Last Thursday, the court voted 6-3 to block a vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers but voted 5-4 to maintain a vaccine mandate for health providers at federally funded facilities. 

Read more here from The Hill’s John Kruzel.

5G HOLDUP

AT&T, Verizon to delay 5G rollout near certain airports  

AT&T and Verizon on Tuesday each agreed to temporarily delay their 5G rollouts near certain airports amid concerns over possible flight disruptions. 

The move follows warnings from U.S. airlines that the new C-Band 5G wireless service that was set to deploy Wednesday could ground flights and potentially leave thousands of Americans stranded while also delaying the flow of goods. 

President Biden commended the wireless companies for agreeing to place limits around their 5G service rollout. 

“This agreement will avoid potentially devastating disruptions to passenger travel, cargo operations, and our economic recovery, while allowing more than 90 percent of wireless tower deployment to occur as scheduled,” President Biden said in a statement Tuesday. “This agreement protects flight safety and allows aviation operations to continue without significant disruption and will bring more high-speed internet options to millions of Americans.” 

The Hill’s Caroline Vakil has more on the agreement here.

Good to Know 

The United Kingdom is cracking down on “misleading” cryptocurrency advertising as more citizens get involved in the digital assets.  

Finance Minister Rishi Sunak announced his plan on Tuesday to amend financial promotion legislation to include cryptocurrency. 

Here’s what else have our eye on: 

 

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you Wednesday.

Overnight Finance