Congressional Budget Office: H.R. 233, Railroad Antitrust Enforcement Act of 2009   [open pdf - 22KB]

"H.R. 233 would expand the authority of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prosecute, under the Sherman and Clayton Acts, certain antitrust violations relating to railroads. Currently, the Surface Transportation Board (STB) has the primary authority to regulate mergers, acquisitions, rate-setting, and pooling arrangements under the Interstate Commerce Act. The roles of DOJ and FTC are generally limited to investigating potential violations and providing advice to the STB. Based on information provided by DOJ, CBO [Congressional Budget Office] estimates that implementing H.R. 233 would have no significant effect on the federal budget. We expect that DOJ would continue to perform investigations of railroads (investigations under current law are similar to those that would be performed under the bill) and that few of those investigations would result in enforcement actions. Accordingly, CBO expects that DOJ's workload would not increase substantially under the bill. CBO also expects that DOJ, rather than FTC, would handle antitrust enforcement matters specified under the bill; thus, we do not anticipate that FTC would incur significant additional enforcement costs."

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