The United States House appreciates the opportunity to submit these comments to the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice in response to the solicitation of public comments on whether and how to revise the 1995 Examination Guidelines competition from bank mergers.

The Chamber agrees that the DOJ should revise the Guidelines to reflect significant changes over the past quarter century to current economic realities and our empirical understanding of the marketplace, including the following: the explosive growth of bank competition online, credit unions and other financing options for consumers; studies indicating that the concentration does not reduce competition, particularly given the relative ease of access to credit markets and the ready availability of creditor competition outside of particular geographic markets; studies concluding that mergers can increase competition; and studies that question the use of deposits as a metric for calculating the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index (HHI).

The Chamber also points out that rather than revising merger guidelines to subject more proposed transactions to greater scrutiny, the DOJ could better increase competition in credit markets by using its competition advocacy tools to support deregulation policies that would allow more companies to compete.