Recap and Rewind: M&A Regulatory Revamp – Is the Innovation Ecosystem at Risk? (Yes!)

By at 4 July, 2022, 10:03 am

by Karen Kerrigan – 

SBE Council hosted an outstanding group of experts and thought leaders at a June 28 conference, “M&A Regulatory Revamp: Is the Innovation System at Risk?”

Startup ecosystem experts, scholars, M&A practitioners, and entrepreneurs who have successfully exited their businesses (and then moved on launch even more startups, and invest in and mentor other startups) discussed how the current M&A regulatory framework incentivizes America’s vibrant startup and innovation ecosystem, and how regulatory changes being considered by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Department of Justice (DOJ), as well as legislation such as the “Platform Competition and Opportunity Act” (PCOA) represent risky and unnecessary government interventions that threaten these ecosystems, economic growth, and the competitive advantage the U.S. holds in this critical space.

As noted by all the speakers, regulatory proposals would vastly increase costs and barriers for small business acquisition, and the PCOA would impose an effective ban on acquisitions by the four or five large technology platforms in this country. The downstream and ecosystem effects of these “anti-trust” efforts – that most panelists described as sweeping and radical regulation – would disproportionately harm startups, small businesses, rural and regional economies, and innovation.

As I said in my opening remarks:

“Potential rule changes and legislative proposals could upend a system that is working rather well in incentivizing small businesses and startups to create and develop amazing innovations and businesses that are then connected to the scale and resources they need – in this case an acquisition –  that bring those innovations to their full potential and to the benefit of many consumers.”

A summary of the event will be posted very soon on SBE Council’s website, and you can watch it in its entirety here.

Karen Kerrigan is president & CEO of the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.


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